20 December 2017
Preserving one of Ipswich’s great eucalyptus trees was the focus of an upgrade to Riverside Drive at Pine Mountain.
Council funded $600,000 for improvements to a 4.5km section of the maintained gravel road after investigations identified concerns such as road safety, drainage and run off.
Works have now been completed including installation of warning signage, road camber and width adjustments (where possible) and the construction of three concrete floodways.
A major consideration was a massive eucalyptus tereticornis – commonly known as Queensland Blue Gum or Forest Red Gum – which is estimated to be 35m high, with a girth of 7m, and hundreds of years old.
Works, Parks and Sport Committee Chairperson Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the roadworks were adapted so nothing would compromise the future health of such a significant tree.
“A sucker vac on low pressure was used – very slowly and very gently – to identify where the root plate of the tree was. This led to the outlet slab of the concrete floodway being modified to suit,” he said.
“The important factor was the long-term health of this tree. There will be ongoing maintenance such as mulching to make sure this tree continues to thrive.”
Division 10 Councillor David Pahlke said the tree had not yet been aged by a specialist, but was estimated to be hundreds of years old.
“Ipswich’s current record is a Queensland Blue Gum at Calvert that has been aged as more than 460 years old. This tree may not quite reach that lofty target, but it is one of the original pioneer trees of the area and we are so lucky that it was never milled,” he said.
“This project is a significant spend within a rural area of Division 10 and it’s a fantastic result, improving the safety for our rural community.”