My goal this year was to:
- Check and do some replanting if necessary on last year’s plots on Adnamira and Carkella. My guess was 50 to 80 because I knew some of them had had a hard time with the dry weather.
- plant 30 trees/shrubs in tiny triangles on Adnamira
- 30 trees/shrubs in a small connection plot in the Tank Paddock behind the homestead
- 60 trees/shrubs in a rocky knoll connection plot in the dam paddock on Esdale
- 500 trees/shrubs in a windbreak on Esdale (funded by Local Land Services)
- TOTAL – 670 approx
What actually happened:
- 150 trees/shrubs replaced on Adnamira, Carkella and Esdale – an unsatisfactorily high number of losses, due to the dryness and frost at planting, and a long dry autumn followed by boggy wetness and clay soil in unexpected places. It was however great that we were able to fill in some gaps in old plantations that had no shrubs while we waited and waited for the new fences to be constructed. There are still some gaps at Carkella that we’ll fill next year.
- 30 trees/shrubs in the tiny triangle project and
- 30 in the Dam paddock.
- no Rocky knoll planting. That will need at least 100, and will wait for next year.
- 645 trees/shrubs in the Esdale windbreak, which still needs 100 more in next year’s planting, which will make a total of 745 for the whole area.
- TOTAL FOR THE YEAR: 855 trees and shrubs
Tree planting doesn’t always go as planned.
In 2011, before we actually moved back to Australia, I spoke to Graham Fifield at Greening Australia about being part of their WOPR (Whole Paddock Rehabilitation) program. That program is designed to revegetate an area of 10 hectares or more, using bands of trees and shrubs directly seeded on the contours. It uses existing paddocks, so doesn’t require the extra fencing that most tree-planting needs. After five years, the grazing animals are allowed back in, so it’s not taken out of production permanently.
Direct seeding equipment 2012.
I was interested in trying direct seeding, partly because the way I plant tube-stock trees (with deep drilled holes, plastic covers, mulch, heavy watering, fertilizer, more mulch) is pretty labour-intensive. If seeding worked, it could be an easy way out. I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the (643 hectare) size of the entire farm rehabilitation project, so doing 10 hectares at once seemed like it would be a big step forward. I counted my tree seedlings in the thousands well before they were germinated. Continue reading
A late addition to the collection of trees we’ve been planting this year has been a group of trees that have just graduated from the Australian National University.
They’re now decorating the slopes of our box-gum woodland plantation with tasteful stainless steel pendants and copper necklaces identifying them.
The concept of the research (by Tricia Stewart, working with Justin Borevitz and Jason Bragg) is to look for guidance on choosing trees for landscape restoration.
Just the thing we’re working on. Continue reading