THE Fremantle Society has convinced Freo council to accept a gift of four semi-mature Moreton Bay figs from The Guildford Association to offset those lost from Kings Square.
The nine-year-old, two-metre giants were initially offered by the Guildfordians in September 2018 to foster a link between their historic settlement and Freo.
A bureaucratic back-and-forth that Fremantle Society president John Dawson described as an “endless quest to donate a few Moreton Bay figs to Fremantle” has finally borne fruit, with the go-ahead given for the ‘more-than-a-tonne’ trees to make the journey from Guildford to their new home along Ord Street.
The trees commonly reach over 25 metres tall in botanical parks, and an inspection by a council team on August 23 revealed that while the ficus macrophyllae were somewhat root-bound, they were nevertheless assessed as in good condition and the council is now “happy to give them a go”.
It hopes the new arrivals will “improve the canopy coverage long term along Ord [Street]”.
The Fremantle Society has uncovered a 1929 newspaper article from the West Australian that records the planting of 29 figs to mark the centenary of Fremantle’s settlement in 1829, and is hoping that a small plaque commemorating this event and Guildford’s kind donation can be included under Ord Street’s new shade.
While noting that just five of the original centenary trees were left standing, he pondered whether Fremantle could repeat the centenary project in 2029.
by JUSTIN STAHL