8th September 2020
Final preparations are underway for the relocation later this month of a new Moreton Bay fig tree to Fremantle’s Kings Square.
The new fig tree, which will become a feature of the new Kings Square play space, will replace the much-loved ‘Christmas Fig’ that had to be removed for safety reasons due to its deteriorating condition.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the relocation of the fig tree was an exciting step in the renewal of Kings Square.
“We had always intended for the Christmas Fig to be the focal point of the new play space in Kings Square and we did everything we could think of to try and save it and restore it to health, so we were absolutely heartbroken when the decision had to be made to remove it,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“The council signed off on the removal of the Christmas Fig on the condition that it be replaced with another mature Moreton Bay fig.
“A suitable tree was identified along Ord Street and for the past year our landscaping team has been preparing it to be relocated to Kings Square.
“The relocated tree will be a beautiful addition to Kings Square and I’m sure the community will come to love it just as much as the one it’s replacing.”
The first step in the relocation process begins this week with the removal of the existing soil in Kings Square and replacement with a specified soil to provide the optimal conditions for the tree transplant.
The relocation itself will be a three-day process which is scheduled to begin at Ord Street on 22 September with excavation around the root ball of the tree.
The following day it will be extracted from the ground using a crane, lifted onto a semi-trailer and moved to an overnight laydown area in the Fremantle Leisure Centre car park.
On the morning of 24 September the tree will be transported to its final destination in Kings Square where it will be lifted into position with a crane.
The transportation of the tree to Kings Square is expected to take about an hour and rolling road closures will be in place.
Once the new tree has had time to settle in construction will start on the Kings Square play space.
Inspired by the Fremantle’s industrial history and close links with nature, the concept design for the play space includes features such as cranes, bridges, train tracks and shipping containers and incorporates natural elements including water and trees, bold lighting treatments and tactile nature play elements.
The City of Fremantle is undertaking the $270 million renewal of Kings Square in partnership with Sirona Capital.
The project includes Sirona’s redevelopment of the old Myer and Queensgate sites to create offices for more than 1700 state government employees and the revolutionary FOMO food and retail concept, the construction of the City of Fremantle’s new Walyalup Civic Centre and library, and the rejuvenation of the public spaces that surround the site.
For more information on the Kings Square Renewal Project watch this video.