Planting the grassy woodlands of the future

Last month we showed you how we’d prepared the ground for a whole new generation of grassy woodland in Tasmania. Since then it’s been all hands to the pump to get plants in the ground – 60,000 in four weeks. Here’s how we did it….

Although they don’t grab the headlines like old-growth forest or the Great Barrier Reefgrassy woodlands and native grasses are amongst Australia’s most threatened landscapes. In the Tasmanian Midlands only a small percentage remain, often in isolated remnants – a familiar story across South East Australia.

As the home of native mammals like quolls and bandicoots, and a vital source of shade and shelter for pastoral farmers, we’re more focussed than ever on restoring and conserving this unique and often forgotten habitat.

We’ve used a few different techniques to create and restore our native grassland and grassy woodland sites. For our native grassland direct seeding method – where we sow carefully collected seed using specialist machinery – the Tassie office borrowed two of our Victorian team’s grassland experts, Rod and Dave.

Direct seeder machineDirect seeder machine

We’ve also planted an incredible 60,000 plants across 35 hectares at four University of Tasmania research sites.

seedling plantedseedling planted

One of the most important jobs in a project like this is protecting our young trees. Until they’re much bigger they face the triple threat of deer, stock and native animals. Obviously it’s the local wildlife that we’re doing all this work for. But for the time being we need to keep them – and all the other animals – away from our seedlings. That’s why we’ve also being working flat-out to build strong cages for all our grassy woodland sites.

volunteer building tree cagevolunteer building tree cage

Like most of our projects, we’ve also been trying to build connections between the community and their local environment. It’s been great – not to mention very useful – having students from Oatlands and Campbell Town District High Schools and Mackillop Catholic College along to lend a hand.

students building tree cagestudents building tree cage

We can’t believe how lucky we’ve been with the weather with over three weeks of glorious winter sunshine. No wonder Mike was smiling so much as he prepared the seed for Rod and Dave’s direct seeder. Now we just need a bit of rain to get all of our plants off to a good start. We’ll let you know how it goes…..

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preparing seed for plantingpreparing seed for planting

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