NEXT time you’re travelling through Tamworth, keep your eyes peeled because you might be missing something significant. Some would say you’re missing the wood for the trees.
In Tamworth alone, there are about 120 registered significant trees including Number One Oval’s London plane trees, and Bicentennial Park’s Canary island palms. One notable entry is the Billabong Clubhouse’s five towering Cabbage Tree Palms on Darling St, in an area littered with Tamworth history.
The Clubhouse building was constructed in 1893 and was used by the local police superintendent.
Clubhouse operations manager Michael Herden says it’s funny the trees are listed as significant, but the building is not heritage listed.
A curiosity not lost on TRC’s register of significant trees.
“These trees are significant because they are of high townscape value and complement other palms growing in the street,” the register reads.
“The trees are elements within a garden belonging to a simple Victorian cottage… It is possible that the house may deserve listing as a heritage item and should be investigated.”
The palms are believed to be more than 110 years old and bear an unmistakable aesthetic, but Mr Herden has heard the five trees are worth up to $50,000.
“They would be dramatically missed if they weren’t there,” Mr Herden said.
“They’re a destination point, you can see them from miles away.
“And the members would miss them.”
David McKinnon was a part of the Save King George V Ave Action Group and said there was almost an “immeasurable” aesthetic provided by Tamworth’s significant trees.
“Through some miracle and against climatic zones, we have some trees that add an environmental aesthetic for all passing commuters on foot and by car,” Mr McKinnon said. But Mr McKinnon fears the council’s significant tree register is not protective enough.
“All it needs is a signature from the GM,” Mr McKinnon said.