JO LONG and her daughter, Macushla, were fond of the tree.
JO LONG and her daughter, Macushla, were fond of the tree.

Community mourns tree lost in storm

THE Whian Whian community has lost one of its oldest and best-loved members when a fig tree up to 150 years old came crashing down in the storm on Thursday night.

Sue Carl,58, owns the property the fig tree stood on, and said the loss of the tree was a ‘total and utter tragedy’.

“The tree was quite well-loved in the community and we always had people stopping to look at it,” she said.

“It was an attraction, the centrepiece of the property and a part of  Whian Whian.”You used to be able to stand there and see the fig tree and Mt. Nardi in the background, but now it’s just bare.”

Today though, Mrs Carl said there were only ‘shocked faces from the people who stopped by’.

Mrs Carl and husband, Ross, hadn’t even noticed the tree had fallen down until they walked out the front yesterday morning.

“We didn’t hear it come down or anything. I was gob-smacked,” she said.

“‘Oh my God’ was the only words anyone has used today,” she said.

“It was very strange, and no matter how many times I go out and see it, it is still strange.”

Luckily, the tree fell towards the powerlines instead of the house, and Mrs Carl thanked council planning regulations for averting disaster.

“The veranda is a bit damaged, but we had to put the house 35 metres from the roots of the tree, and this is proof that council rules and regulations work,” she said.

The damage to the powerlines left the neighbourhood without electricity from 10.30pm on Thursday until yesterday afternoon.

The fallen tree blocked the front of Mr and Mrs Carl’s property, preventing their son and his girlfriend from travelling to Canberra as planned.

“We’ve managed to cut a bit down so we can get through the driveway, but we’ve hardly made a dent, it’s such a huge tree,” she said.

Mrs Carl said the family regularly sat under the tree, and the neighbourhood children climbed on it, and that afternoon her son had been taking photos of it.

“It really puts everything in perspective,” she said. “It was always there. Can you imagine what it has seen? All the weather changes and children playing; it was like an old wise man.”

The tree wasn’t the only thing damaged – the couple found their garden shed at a neighbour’s place, their Weber barbecue was left mangled and cushions from chairs on the veranda were scattered around the property.

Now Mrs Carl is worried ‘each time the breeze comes up’.

“We’re keeping an eye out and hope there are no more storms,” she said.

Neighbour Jo Long, who owned the property before selling it to the Carls in 2005, and said the storm was ‘cyclonic’.

Mrs Carl and her neighbours will now plant the seeds from the fallen fig tree.

“We definitely plan to replace it,” she said.

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