New bid to save historic fig tree

A PROPOSAL to “save” a historic Tweed fig tree by planting a seedling from the original tree nearby has been taken up by a Tweed Shire councillor.

Cr Barry Longland has asked his six fellow councillors to support a plan to plant a seedling from the “Hatton’s fig tree” which the council says must be removed for safety reasons.

The original tree was planted more than a century ago by pioneering blacksmith Harry Hatton beside Kyogle Road at Byangum outside Murwillumbah to mark the birth of a son.

But road widening and rot affecting parts of the tree led an independent tree expert to warn council limbs could fall onto the road.

Councillors are today due to consider a request from Cr Longland to call for a report on the feasibility of planting a seedling from the original tree nearby and establishing a memorial to the Hatton family on council land near the Byangum Bridge.

In February a member of the Hatton family, Michael Harley, who worked as a photographer on the Tweed Daily News in the 1960s before moving to Brisbane, suggested a new sapling could be placed in a memorial park behind the current fig tree.

Tweed historian Ron Johansen has previously confirmed Harry Hatton, who had operated a blacksmith’s shop on the other side of the road to the historic tree, planted it on the birth of his second son, Richard James Hatton on October 24, 1898.



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