The iconic palm tree located in the northern car park at Surrey Hills Station will be going away on vacation at a specialist nursery, while major construction takes place to remove the 2 dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert.
The removal process involves an excavator scooping out the roots of the palm tree. A crane then lifts the palm tree onto a trailer where it will be transported to a nursery.
The palm tree is believed to be more than 75 years old and formed part of the gardens at the original Station Masters Residence. The former Station Master’s house was removed and replaced with a car park in 1971 during the addition of a third rail line, while the palm tree remained.
While not formally recognised as a tree of significance, the palm tree will be retained given the significant heritage across Surrey Hills and historical connection to the former Station Master’s home. While other trees do not respond well to being transplanted this tree is able to be retained due to the ability of palm trees to cope with the relocation process.
More than 50 palm trees have already been successfully removed and reinstated by the Level Crossing Removal Project over the past 5 years.
As part of acknowledging the local heritage and history of the area, an archaeological dig was undertaken earlier this year at the former site of the Station Master’s house.
The palm tree is expected to return to the area at the completion of the project where it will join 52,000 new trees, shrubs and plants that will be planted as part of the project.
Major works are well underway to remove the two dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert by lowering the rail line into a trench and build a new, premium station.