This India-rubber Fig (Ficus elastica) is a single specimen or possibly two specimens located within a raised circular planter in the paved forecourt area of Circular Quay West. This fig(s) has multiple trunks and aerial roots which are largely contained within the raised planter. The single combined canopy extends partially over the public paved forecourt area. It measures approximately, height 12 metres, canopy spread 23 metres and trunk diameter of 0.5-0.6 metres (for each of the four main trunks) at one metre above the ground. Each trunk has extensive aerial roots spread over an area of approximately 7 metres. This species has an exceptional growth rate, developing an extensive lateral and vigorous root system and a massive dense canopy within a short period of time.
The row planting of Peppercorn Tree (Schinus areira) are located within a raised garden bed, immediately north of the Cahill Expressway overpass and adjacent to George Street. The trees combine to form a contiguous canopy in this part of George Street, supporting the intimate scale and character of the precinct. The canopies extend over the broad footpath and seating area on George Street with root zones generally contained within the raised garden beds. They measure approximately, height 10-14 metres, canopy spread 12-16 metres with trunk diametres 0.45-1.2 metres at one metre above the ground.Most of these trees are in generally good health and condition with minimal pruning to canopies, however the oldest specimen (northern end of row) appears to be in decline with reduced canopy density, some dead wood in the crown and large cavities are evident.
This India-rubber Fig (Ficus elastica) is significant at the local level for its ornamental and aesthetic character, its visual prominence and high amenity values within this popular harbour-side location.
The row planting of ornamental Peppercorn Trees (Schinus areira) dates from 1972. Although none of the trees are significant as individual specimens, they have group significance at the local level in terms of visual, aesthetic, historic and amenity values.
The India-rubber Fig (Ficus elastica) is the once commercially valuable species which was used in the production of natural rubber. These figs became ubiquitous as indoor plants during the late 1950’s-1960’s period. Some of these figs were transplanted to private gardens and public parks.
The ornamental Peppercorn Tree (Schinus areira) is an important historic component of many of Sydney’s earlier public and private planting schemes. It is a hardy, drought tolerant species but rarely achieves grand proportions within the City of Sydney LGA. Photographic evidence suggests the Peppercorns were planted in 1972.
The landscaping of the harbour-side forecourt area in the 1980’s included the transplanting of mature and semi-mature Washington Palms (Washingtonia robusta) and native Cabbage Palms (Livistona australis) along with a palette of other exotic trees such as jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia). None of these recent introductions and transplants are considered to have local significance.