Bulimba Memorial Park is a 4.6-hectare parkland (managed by Brisbane City Council) with its main frontage along the iconic Oxford Street. Historical records indicate that perimeter trees were planted around the park between 1919-1923 in memory of the men and women from the Bulimba district who enlisted and went overseas in World War 1.
Still present today are the original row of memorial plantings of Ficus obliqua: Small Leaved Fig located along the Oxford Street frontage which were inter-planted with Syagrus romanzoffiana: Cocos Palm. Under the Fig tree canopy inside the Oxford Street park entrance gates is a cairn with a metal plaque bearing the following words:
‘Bulimba Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park’ Opened on the first day of November 1919, by the Honourable W.H. Barnes, MLA and dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and nurses who enlisted from Bulimba for service in the Great War 1914-1919′.
Each individual tree is believed to have had a commemorative plaque honouring a serviceman killed in action, but none remain on the site today.
The species Ficus obliqua: Small Leaved Figs produce aerial roots from large lateral branches. As these aerial tree roots develop from lateral branches and reach the ground they form natural ‘props’ which assist the tree in maintaining structural integrity, and which minimise the potential for these large and spreading tree branches to fail.
Whilst the Oxford Street trees had begun to form these aerial roots only a few had managed to reach the ground. Council arborist’s decided that intervention to speed up this process was necessary to ensure that the trees remain healthy and viable for as long as possible.
The Brisbane Tree Experts team were brought in to design and construct some ‘Aerial Tree Root Stations’ with the specific purpose of promoting and encouraging this aerial root growth to form natural tree props to support the broad spreading branches of the trees.
Each individual ‘station’ is filled with a customised growing medium designed specifically to speed up root growth and to encourage the individual tree roots towards the ground as quickly as possible. The Brisbane Tree Experts team have now installed 40 individual stations beneath the canopies of the trees with more to come.
Not only that, but in order to promote community awareness, and to assist in blending the ‘aerial root stations’ in with the surrounding and iconic streetscape, local artists were brought in to decorate the stations and we think they look great!
Next time you wonder out for a coffee be sure to check out the great work of the BTE team, and watch this space for more heritage tree care solutions! It’s great to think outside the box!