The figs are located in a rather narrow street bordered by terraces. The canopies of these figs create a more or less contiguous, lineal corridor and tunnel effect over the roadway and adjoining terraces. There have been several removals in the street as a result of substantial structural damage to adjoining properties.
This avenue of Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) is part of a larger contiguous group merging with generally younger fig planting in Napier Street (refer to listing in this Register). This group in Selwyn Street forms a longer avenue extending from the street closure adjoining Napier Street to Josephson Street.
This avenue of Hill’s Weeping Figs (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii) creates one of the more memorable single species street tree groups in the City of Sydney LGA. Although there are no individually significant specimens, these figs have local group significance in terms of their visual and social values.
There are relatively few examples of the mature, single species avenue within the City of Sydney LGA. Moreover, this thematic planting style is carried through to Napier Street, further enhancing the aesthetic character of this neighbourhood (refer to listing in this Register). The figs are proposed to be replaced as they decline with a slightly smaller street tree but one with similar broad leaf evergreen character being the Weeping Lilly Pilly (Waterhousea floribunda).
This group contains some other mixed component species such as Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia). These additions are likely to be a result of replacement and infill planting since the late 1970’s period. These Paperbarks are not consistent with the overall thematic approach and are considered to be neutral to intrusive elements.
No street tree planting is evident in either Napier or Selwyn Streets in the 1943 aerial photographs of Sydney, although the adjoining terraces date from mid to late 1800’s. The Hills Fig planting possibly dates from the early Post War period (1945 to 1960s) with additional successive phases of infill and replacement planting.