Global Land Repair


covers blown against the fence

It’s an embarrassment that when I see litter in our paddocks.  That’s because it’s usually my own: one of my tree guards that has blown off and landed in the creek, or among the ti-tree, or strung up against a barbed-wire fence.

But collecting them again is the easy part.  The problem is what to do with the hundreds of covers that stay on, doing their job, and then need to be recycled? Continue reading



2011 planting

Extreme tree planting

Seed collecting is a new art for me.  It requires timing, observation and knowledge of what you’re looking for.  Mostly I’m nervous that I’ll just take the seeds off a plant and waste them by not planting them in time. Continue reading


The Easter Bunny this year brought friends and excellent company – and the planting of 182 trees and shrubs

.American Gothic Millie and Tom with mallet and mycorrhizaeTricia as the claw monster

Generally, our method of planting trees and shrubs requires lots of water.  We pour on 10 to 20 litres per tree to give them a head start in our dry landscape.   We add mulch and a stout pink corflute plastic cover to help preserve the humidity, among other things. Then we walk away and hope for the best.  We give them more water if the temperature goes over 40 degrees celsius (that’s 104 in Fahrenheit for people on the old-fashioned measurements).

our truck mounted fire and tree watering pump

Our truck mounted fire and tree watering pump plus 800 litre tank

But out new plants have the best chance of doing well if the general ground moisture is good and there’s regular rain after they’re planted.

Ground moisture when we planted this Easter – nil. Continue reading



IMG_1407Once upon a time, a scientist was interested in the physiology and adaptability of Australian snowgums.

The official name of snowgums is eucalyptus pauciflora because they have only a few flowers (not because their flowers are crummy).   In the mountains they’re known for their twisted shapes and striped trunks.   They’re the highest tree that grows in the Australian Snowy Mountains.

snow gum1

In 1972 Professor Ralph Slatyer, later Australia’s first Chief Scientist, experimented with planting them even higher up than they would normally live, and successfully grew them at 2100 metres above sea level (that’s 6890 feet in the old imperial measures).   In the process he discovered all sorts of things about how plants get water and nutrients under difficult conditions.

Forty years later, Professor Justin Borevitz led a team of researchers back to those same snowgums to collect seeds.  You can see what they saw in his  nifty EveryTrail report.

From those seeds they grew a number of seedlings of which they gave us three to plant at Esdale.   Each tree came with a number and a record of their distant parent. Continue reading