Majestic and shady, culturally significant and delicious, but also potentially dangerous – bunya pines are one native Australian tree that should come with their own hazard warning.
Bunya pines, which grow to as high as 50 metres, produce dozens of enormous cones, each one with the capacity to weigh up to 10 kilograms if left to fully mature.
These cones are generally produced when the pines are in season, between December and March.
A number of large bunya pines, some peaking at 30 metres, can be found across Wagga Wagga, the majority located inside the CBD’s Collins Park.
“We look after about ten in Collins Park and one along the Wollundry Lagoon,” Manager Parks and Strategic Operations Henry Pavitt said.
“Every year, as part of our general maintenance of these trees, we remove all of the cones from each of the bunya pines.
“We do this before the cones fully mature.”
Council carries out the removal of the cones as necessary, focusing their efforts on the bunya pines as the cones begin to fall.
“We’ve had a couple drop this week so it’s a good time to get in and remove the cones before the Christmas-New Year break and school holidays,” Mr Pavitt said.
“Most of the ones that have already come down have been chewed by cockatoos.”
Council advises members of the community to be aware that work will be undertaken to remove the cones from the bunya pines on Tuesday, 17 December 2019.
Bus drivers, who normally park their vehicles in close proximity to the park and its amenities, are advised the area will be cordoned off to allow workers to utilise machinery, including a large crane.
“We won’t be affecting or stopping the bus route in any way, we’re just asking drivers to park their buses around the corner from their usual break location,” Mr Pavitt said.