The Fraser Avenue lawns in Kings Park have received a majestic new addition, after a large tree was transplanted there by crane from the Western Australian Botanic Garden on 19 August 2016.
The Coral Tree (Erythrina lysistemon) was hoisted from its original home in the Botanic Garden and carried about 800 m by crane through the park to its new position near the South African War Memorial.
BGPA Curator Arboriculture Jeremy Thomas said the species required very little preparation to transplant.
'Minor pruning was done to accommodate an easy move, and branches were roped together to provide strength and protection during transport', Mr Thomas said.
Hailing from the Mediterranean-type climate of South Africa, this magnificent 8 tonne specimen towers 12 m high and 14 m wide. At around 45 years old, it has been an eye-catching tree in the gardens for many years and is the only one of this species in Kings Park.
In a carefully managed process lasting several hours, the Coral Tree was dug out, lifted from its garden bed, transported and finally lowered into place by crane.
Being a deciduous tree, late winter is the optimal time for transplanting before it starts developing new leaves and buds. In spring, it erupts with abundant red flowers and attracts a variety of birdlife.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden Senior Curator Grady Brand said the Coral Tree would make a worthy addition to the planting on the lawns along Fraser Avenue, which features interesting large trees from around the world.
'Its original home near the entry to the WA Botanic Garden is now devoted to growing and displaying native species from Western Australia, so this specimen no longer fits the design of this area', Mr Brand said.
'An extra benefit is that the relocation has opened a stunning view through the gardens to the Swan and Canning rivers.'
Mr Thomas said the Kings Park Arbor Team was confident the South African giant would survive the transplant well.
'It will have a customised monitoring and tree health program for the next five years and earth anchors will be used for the next three to five years to stabilise the tree until new roots develop.'