New cotton trees for Cotton Tree

Freya (3) with her mum Jackie, Jay Jay (4) with her dad Cr Jason O'Pray and council's arborist plant a replacement cotton tree — at Des Scanlon Park, Cotton Tree Pde, Cotton Tree.

Three year old, Freya Goldston has a favourite ‘climbing tree’ in Cotton Tree that she loves to explore every week. This is the very same cotton tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus) her mother used to play in with her sisters when they were children.
Imagine the horror for the young Buderim resident when she turned up ready and eager to play in her special tree only to discover its damaged remains following the severe flood event in March.
Sunshine Coast Council Division 8 Cr Jason O’Pray – who coincidentally also used to play in the same tree as a child – said he was delighted to be able to provide little Freya with a new cotton tree ‘climbing tree’, along with several more nearby.
“Council recognises the value these trees have for local residents and visitors to the area, whether it be for climbing, relaxing under their shady canopies or just enjoying their visual appeal,” he said.
“Following the damage caused to a number of trees in this area during the severe flood events, we will be endeavouring to plant replacement trees of the same species and in the same locations to ensure the succession of shade trees in our parks.”
As the realisation hit young Freya her favourite tree was gone, it was council’s arborist, Sonny Wilson who shared the good news with her and her mother Jackie Goldston council would replace her tree as soon as possible.
Ms Goldston said she was very impressed by the council worker when responding to her daughter’s very obvious devastation.
“Sonny was very approachable, friendly and informative. He was just really nice to us,” she said.
“He reassured Freya council would investigate the damage and options and do their best to have another climbing tree here soon.”
Mr Wilson said it was great to know the special place these beautiful trees hold for children.
“This is a tree that has been here for decades, and is perfectly situated outside the Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre, local caravan park, cafes and park for kids to climb and play among its many twisted limbs,” he said.
“After witnessing Freya’s little face crumble when she came across the ruined tree, I can’t wait to see her delight when she sees the new cotton tree for her to enjoy for many years to come.”
Look out for the replacement trees being planted soon in Cotton Tree at Des Scanlon Park opposite the pool Cotton Tree Pde, Seabreeze Park near the information centre on Melrose Pde and Vic Perren Memorial Park on Fourth Ave.