The resilience of a 300 year old Morton Bay Fig has been celebrated by the planting of a new rainforest reserve around it by a group of Landcare volunteers and members of the indigenous community.
The enormous tree, on Maria and Gerhard Baden’s property at Rose Valley, was blown down in 2016.
It was thought dead until their playing grand-daughters discovered the new growth.
The Resurrection Fig, as it is now dubbed, is now surrounded by five hundred native plants grown from seeds gather in local rainforests.
“A grant from the Illawarra Trust has enabled Landcare Illawarra to collect seeds from 150 rural properties,” says Richard Scarborough, Project Officer for the organisation.
“We are now able to restock land with the original species of the area, which have been cross-bred for resilience.”
In the last 10 years, this has allowed Illawarra Landcare to support around 110 planting projects on rural land.
Some projects are associated with bush regeneration works, but others are dual purpose plantings in paddocks to create windbreaks and shelterbelts for livestock, as well as habitat and food resources for wildlife.
After the planting was done, Aunty Joyce Donovan gave a touching Welcome to Country and oversaw a Smoking Ceremony.
She spoke of the good times and bad that the tree would have seen during its 300 years.
“It would have been surrounded by cedars, and figs are traditionally known as birthing trees and their bark was used for food covering.
“It would have also witnessed so much grief and trauma, with aboriginal people being removed and forbidden to hunt for their food and use their language.
“Through us coming together and doing the Smoking we can help with the healing.”
If you are interested in joining Landcare, please contact Neil McLaren 0400 363 570 or firstname.lastname@example.org