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Tree Planting

The creek line which runs through our farm has been completely cleared of trees. Combined with bad grazing management in the past, this has turned the creek, in places, into an incised channel. Along with building more stable crossings and some small rock structures to slow the water down, we’ve always wanted to plant trees along the banks. About 6 years ago we made an attempt at this. We bought some tubestock and planted them in the floodplain towards the lower end of the property, and put up a fence to exclude livestock.

Within a month we had a raging flood that broke the banks of the creek and took all but one of the trees away with it. That tree was a Eucalyptus Stellulata (Black Sally) and its still going strong.

Black Sally (eucalyptus stellulata)

Black Sally (eucalyptus stellulata)

This year we’ve fenced off a large portion of the creek and we’re going to try again. this time we’ve gotten some long stem tube stock. Although still in tiny pots, these are about a metre high and we can bury them to about half way up the trunk, which should make them more stable if we get a repeat of last time. We are planting about 50 trees of different types, ribbon gums red gums, some wattles and some bottlebrushes. This should cover the lower third of the fenced area. The next third we are going to leave alone, but exlude all livestock for a few years and see what returns. For the top third we want to burn the grass off, hot enough to stimulate the existing seed bank of trees which need fire to germinate. Hopefully this will throw up some interesting trees which we no longer see growing on the property.

Before we start planting we want to test the fence, as sheep love to eat new growth, so we are going to put about 300 of our crossbred sheep, who are very hard on fences, in the area for a week. As well showing us any weak points in the fence, this will help with the planting, as we won’t be fighting with long grass.

We’ll post photos throughout the process to show how things are going.

2 comments to Tree Planting

  • Jenny Butler

    Sounds like a lot of planning and planting going on. Good luck with it all and congrats on the thoughtful and responsible way you are using and looking after the land. Well done guys – we need more people like you!

  • John Gillies

    You\\\’re doing the right thing A&A, going with long-stem tube stock. We fenced then planted an entirely barren creek bank with about 240 mixed trees and shrubs. The timing was awful (November 2001 & very dry) but not of our making as the plants came via Landcare. We then had a very dry summer and the plantings weren\\\’t able to be watered. After 5 years we had approximately 50% survival which we thought was amazing in the circumstances – and we put that down entirely to them being long-stem and able to source soil moisture deep down. Today you wouldn\\\’t recognise the original creek bank because of the luxurious tree and shrub cover!! Bill Hicks from Wollombi Landcare pioneered this method – try googling him for some background. Cheers, JG

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