Arborists hope to save a historic 100-year-old Port Jackson fig tree in Gregson Park that was facing the chop.

Councillor Carol Duncan and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at Gregson Park with the 100yo Port Jackson fig tree.

A recent branch break, which typically would have led to the tree being removed, instead enables a cable system in the tree’s canopy. Pruning of the tree starts in the next few days.

The operation should extend its life by 20 years, and will be completed by the end of September.

A successional tree will also be planted close by to ensure the continuity of tree canopy cover in the park in decades to come.

Councillor Carol Duncan said it was crucial that the city’s natural heritage and historic flora and fauna were protected where possible.

Gregson Park has a rich history as one of Newcastle’s most loved parks, with some trees dating back to the late 19th century,” Councillor Duncan said.

Preserving Gregson Park’s trees is important because they not only hold sentimental value to us, they also provide habitat for native wildlife such as the threatened Grey-headed Flying Fox, which is the case with this tree.

City of Newcastle is also excited about the opportunities that will come out of the Gregson Park Masterplan and is looking forward to putting it to the Newcastle community so that they can have their say on the future of the park.”

The park is a locally significant landscape heritage item with a strong sense of identity and has been a popular part of the city for well over a century. City of Newcastle has a long-term vision for the space and is developing the Gregson Park Masterplan for community input later this year.