FACING THE CHOP: Jane Gardiner, Julie Davis, Tina Kelly, Tamsin Jackson and Mandy Burdon would like to see an effort made to save the historic fig tree (at rear) in the grounds of the Alstonville Public School.
FACING THE CHOP: Jane Gardiner, Julie Davis, Tina Kelly, Tamsin Jackson and Mandy Burdon would like to see an effort made to save the historic fig tree (at rear) in the grounds of the Alstonville Public School. Cathy Adams

Campaign to save the tree

A LARGE fig tree in the grounds of Alstonville Public School is not well, but a group of parents is not prepared to give the much-loved old tree its last rites yet.

And that's because of the historical significance of the 115-year-old tree which is facing the chop.

Author Foreman Crawford, in his book Duck Creek Mountain Now Alstonville, writes the small-leafed fig was gifted to the school by pioneer Charles Bulwinkel and planted in the late 1890s by a local resident, Edward Ponton.

It is believed it was planted after the original school was destroyed by fire in 1895.

Generations of students have played under the tree.

But the Department of Education is planning to remove the tree, based on an independent arborist's report.

A department spokesperson said that "it is not possible to prevent it dying naturally and decaying further."

Mandy Burdon is leading the campaign to try to save the tree.

"Let's see the options," she said.

She said - as did the department spokesperson - that safety of students at the school is the number one priority. Students currently can't play under the tree.


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