USLN & GA finish planting into ‘dieback affected’ Monaro for 2017

Upper Snowy Landcare Network along with its many on-ground partners and collaborators such as Greening Australia, Monaro Native Tree Nursery, Cooma Correctional Centre and many others are brushing the soil from their gloves for 2017.

This year saw five new 1 ha biodiversity plots planted down to a selection of local native trees and shrubs. Counting the six plots established in 2016 means there are 11 plots now in place to kick start the recovery of lost biodiversity.  With more than 2000 sq kms affected by dieback on the Monaro, these biodiversity plots are a small but important gesture to restore lost habitat.

As many landholders know, Monaro conditions are not friendly to new establishing trees and shrubs and USL have performed plant counts on the plots with mixed results.  More than ever we have learned how critical it is to stick with a planting methodology based on good ground preparation.  In the next couple of months USL will be launching a free step by step tree planting guide to support landholders who take up the challenge of installing their own biodiversity plots.

Shane Trengove the USL Chair says, “the significant advantage of the 11 plots at this stage is in developing our knowledge and skills to continually test best practice methods for getting trees and shrubs to survive and grow in our tricky climate.  Our future wish is to then see many Monaro landholders install their own biodiversity plots and as a result restore significant habitat connectivity.  We trust our tree planting guide will help with this goal”.

In conjunction to this work, Greening Australia under its Bush Connect project are planning to approach the dieback issue by testing survival and growth of different provenances of E. viminalis using seed collected from a wide range of locations including warmer and drier regions of south-eastern Australia.  GA will plant these seedlings next year in trial plots within the dieback area on the Monaro.

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