Kids dig in to help save fig

WHEN Jude McCormack was a little bit younger, the large fig tree in the grounds of Alstonville Public School was "safe".

SAVE THE TREE: Jude McCormack, 11, handed in a petition to save the 115-year-old fig tree at Alstonville Public School.
SAVE THE TREE: Jude McCormack, 11, handed in a petition to save the 115-year-old fig tree at Alstonville Public School. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

That's because, in the popular children's game of tips, kids touched the tree so they couldn't be tagged and could not be "in".

But now aged 11 and in Year 6, Jude has put his hand up to be "in" as he wants the tree to be "safe" from the tree-loppers.

After news broke last week that the NSW Department of Education was planning to remove the 115-year-old tree, Jude began a petition to save the small-leafed fig. He handed it in this week.

Even though the department has said an "independent arborist" has reported the tree is dying naturally and there is no hope of saving it, Jude said the tree "deserves to be given a chance to be cared for". And 238 people - mostly students of the school, making up about half the school's population - agreed.

"We could use the money to be spent on chopping the tree down to help the tree get better," he said. "It's been here for over 100 years."

He said he would like remediation work done for the tree, "not just one person come in and say it's sick".


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