This outstanding avenue, located within the northern portion of Joynton Avenue adjacent to the Victoria Park redevelopment site, is comprised of two different ornamental evergreen fig species. Their overall impact is strengthened by other figs in close proximity to this avenue (refer to Listings for Cadigal Avenue, Austin Grove and 20 O’Dea Avenue).
The Hill’s Weeping Fig tends to have a much faster growth rate and will out-compete the generally smaller, slower growing Port Jackson Fig. As the trees have matured they have developed a more or less contiguous avenue of merging canopies over this section of Joynton Avenue.
The Port Jackson Figs in Joynton Avenue are an interesting mixture of the two recognised forms – (F. rubiginosa f. glabrescens), being the glabrous leaf form and (F. rubiginosa f. rubiginosa), having a rusty colouration on the underside of leaves (ie. with hairs). This species typically displays a wide range of variation depending upon geographical origin within its range from the south coast of NSW to northern Queensland. These differences are also reflected in the varying growth rates and development of these trees with F. rubiginosa f. rubiginosa tending to be smaller in overall size. There are exceptions however and many of these Port Jackson Figs are significant as individuals with outstanding proportions and stature, however many specimens are in poor condition and showing signs of decline.
This avenue of mixed figs has local significance in terms of visual, aesthetic, historic, social and biodiversity values. Together the Hill’s Weeping Figs and Port Jackson Figs create a dramatic sense of place and scale to this location.
It’s believed that the avenue may have evolved as two separate entities with an initial planting phase being followed by further consolidation and expansion at a later date.
The informal row planting of Port Jackson Figs (Ficus rubiginosa f. glabrescens and f. rubiginosa) along the eastern nature strip is likely to date from early twentieth century planting scheme. They appear to be the last remnant of a row of Figs planted as part of boundary associated with the Race Course located between Joynton Avenue and South Dowling Street.
The row of nine Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) appears to be a much later addition. The planting possibly dates from the late post-World War period (1950’s to 1960’s). They are not evident in the 1943 aerial of the area.