Belmore Park is dominated by one of the City’s most spectacular single row plantations of London Planes (Platanus x acerifolia). There is a very large specimen Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) located on the eastern lawn area near the railway line. This deciduous exotic, standing at 18 metres in height with a 25 metres canopy spread, would be one of the largest examples of this species in the City of Sydney LGA.
The park contains four Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) including a group of three near Eddy Avenue (shown in the early photograph) and an individual specimen near Hay Street. These figs may pre-date all other planting in the park. They are all consistently of substantial proportions, creating a dramatic sense of place and scale. The fig near Hay Street is a particularly large specimen.
An avenue of Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) dominate the eastern portion of the park. Most of these trees are not particularly large and appear to have been planted during a latter phase, possibly during the late Inter-War period. The Brush Box are considered to be supportive elements in this context.
A mixed row planting including the Queensland Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus), an unidentified smooth-barked rainforest species, Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are located along the western boundary (ramp to Central Station). This group was possibly planted during the early twentieth century and subsequently overlayed with Post War period elements and more recently, the generic Eucalypts.
Belmore Park contains a significant collection of mid- to late nineteenth century and early twentieth century planting and is scheduled in the City of Sydney Draft Local Environmental Plan LEP 2011, Sydney City Heritage Study and classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). The collection of trees is considered to have group significance at the City/ LGA level in terms of visual, historic and botanic values. There are also individual specimens which are significant at the local level.
Belmore Park has close associations with the development of Central Railway Station, opened in 1907. A photograph taken in 1923 from the upper level of Central Railway Station, Eddy Avenue, shows Belmore Park with its developing landscape. The trees include a grove of maturing Moreton Bay Figs, immature London Planes along the main pedestrian avenue and a row of large specimen palms including an American Cotton Palm and Washington Palms. These trees and palms are still present in the park and form an important part of the collection of significant trees.
Belmore Park is dominated by one of the City’s most spectacular single row plantations of London Planes (Platanus x acerifolia). The oldest of these trees and other isolated specimens along Eddy Avenue are believed to have been planted in 1904 (Helms, R., Notes on the Flora of NSW).
The park contains four Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) including a group of three near Eddy Avenue (shown in the early photograph) and an individual specimen near Hay Street. These figs may pre-date all other planting in the park. These broadleaf rainforest species continue a lush, native evergreen theme typical of much of the historic planting throughout the City’s parks and reserves.
A row planting of mixed exotic palms are a further feature of an eclectic planting palette. Some of these palms are extraordinarily large specimens, particularly an American Cotton Palm (Washingtonia filifera) (ie. palm shown in left foreground of 1923 photograph). This specimen is now 16 metres high (clear trunk height). Five emergent Washington Palms (Washingtonia robusta) and a Senegal Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata) are additional elements in this scheme. The Washingtonia spp. may date from an earlier planting period, possibly during the 1870’s-1890’s.
The park’s original layouts and planting palette were typical of the approach by Charles Moore and Joseph Maiden (Directors, Royal Botanic Gardens). In particular, the botanical influence of Charles Moore can be seen with the inclusion of an interesting and rare species, Meryta denhamii, sourced from New Caledonia during his voyages to South-western Pacific Islands. There are two specimens of this ornamental, large-leaved tropical species in Belmore Park and the only other known specimens are in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. These trees are relatively small components within the park standing only approximately 8-10 metres in height and 5 metres canopy spread.