TREAT News Cool Season April - June 2005

TREAT on TAP and Other Schools

Barb Lanskey

TREAT on Tap

The primary schools invited to take part in our TREAT on TAP program this year were St. Teresa's at Ravenshoe, Upper Barron and Atherton. This year Dawn Schaffer took charge of liaising with the schools and organizing the program. St. Teresa's and Upper Barron have now completed their programs and Atherton is doing their program in April.

For each school there are 3 days involved, the first is a visit to the classroom by TREAT volunteers to introduce the students to the importance and benefits of trees; the second is a visit by the students to the nursery to allow them to see how we grow trees, to view the Rainforest Display and to take part in the activities of seed cleaning, potting and weeding; the third is a visit by TREAT volunteers (and nursery staff if necessary) to help the students plant some trees in their school grounds.

St. Teresa's school had a class of 28 year 4/5 students for their program and Alan Gilanders took charge of the classroom session. With his years of teaching experience he had the children attentive and responsive in no time. Dawn and I were there to help as TREAT has several activities for the children. The weather was wet, so Allan collected from home a bagful of different leaf samples for the students to inspect with the hand lens - an activity they always love.

Alan also took charge at upper Barron school - 18 students comprising the whole school from years 1 to 7. This time Joan, Margaret and I were helping and the weather was finer, so the students were able to take the hand lenses outside to inspect beetles, bark, fungi, flowers etc.

The nursery visits by both schools were very rewarding for the children. They come on a Friday, so there is plenty of activity to observe. We organize some friendly fruits for them to clean to get to the seeds, and potting is done on separate mobile potting bench which can be lowered appropriately for the youngsters. We show them around the nursery and also take them through the Display Centre. Because of the "Blue Card" suitability requirements we are still somewhat restricted with helpers for the children at the nursery.

At the tree plantings, St Teresa's decided to add some shade trees to their plantings around the oval and plant a few more trees to their plantings around the oval and plant a few more trees for shade behind the oval. The students brought along small shovels and trowels and we planted the trees on a cloudy afternoon. The teacher, Alan and I took Charge of 3 separate groups and the children dug the holes, planted the trees and then watered them using buckets - they enjoyed it all immensely. Afterwards, Alan and I were presented with a thank you card to TREAT signed by them all which they'd made themselves.

Upper Barron school decided to join up a previous school planting with a native garden area and this time the students dug the holes prior to our visit. Neal Walters from the nursery brought along over 70 trees and Sally Mc Donald and I were there for TREAT. The Principal had invited a lot of parents to the morning occasion and their services were enlisted after the children had planted and watered the trees, to spread mulch. There were 3 metres of it from Tropical Peat across the road, and wheelbarrows, buckets and shovels were in action at a cracking pace it was a wonderful effort. The children were so keen they brought out a few more trees from their own nursery, dug more holes and planted them too. Neal had prepared name tags for the trees from the Lake Eacham Nursery showing the scientific name, common name and the tree height in a mature forest. There were 30 - 40 different species so their growing forest should be a great educational resource.

St Joseph's

In February we had a request from St. Josephs' school in Atherton for the years 6/7 students to come to the nursery to learn more about the endangered Mabi forest- they had an assignment to do on one of 5 choices which included Mabi forest.

Twenty four students came to the nursery on Monday 7th March in the morning and we had what turned out to be a winning program for them.

After the initial welcome and introduction to learn what TREAT is all about, we had 3 short lectures for them. The first was a traditional welcome by Syb and a talk about how the aboriginal people lived in and used the forest. The second was given by Joan who talked about the soil and plants of Mabi forest and how the forest has a typical shrub layer etc. The third talk was on the animals in Mabi forest and was given by Alan. We'd borrowed from CSIRO a small collection of stuffed animals and these made Alan's talk quite fascinating for the students.

Following a somewhat extended morning tea, the tours of the Display Centre and nursery were rather hurried, but then we had the activities of seed cleaning, potting and weeding for them. Nick had obtained the sticky fruit of the Cordia dichotoma for seed cleaning and thought the "glue berry" seeds were great fun.

Before Easter, the teacher and students sent us photos and individual thank you letters which we always find interesting and informative, noting what impinges most on the students. The teacher's letter was full of glowing praise for the morning and the students obviously loved it all. Of course none of this happens without TREAT volunteers (Joan, Syb, Alan, Rosemarie, Margret and myself on this occasion) and their time and efforts are appreciated.

Tolga

We also arranged a special morning at the nursery for a class of 23 students from Grade 4 at Tolga School to fit in with a walk they wanted to do through the rainforest at Lake Eacham with Maria Gillaanders and Lyn Bass from the National Park Volunteers.

This was on 21st March and was a morning when Peter Dellow was available, so he agreed to lead the students on the tour of the nursery. He had the children quite enthralled, imagining themselves as a seed and taken on the journey through the nursery to where they finally become a young tree to be planted for a special purpose. This time I led the tour of the Display Centre - Always a pleasure with so much information and so many photographs to highlight points for students of any age.

Again we gave the children some time at the activities of seed cleaning, potting and weeding. Margaret helped them get seeds from Acronychia crassipetla fruit, I took charge of the potting session and Maria led the weeding activity.

After an appropriate thank you and farewells they were off to the forest with Maria and Lyn to arrive at Lake Eacham for lunch.

QPWS

The nursery staff are an essential part of the TREAT on TAP program and visits to the nursery by schools. TREAT relies on them to organize appropriate fruits for seeds for seed cleaning and potting mix and a tray of seedlings, TREAT is always appreciative of their assistance.


Inside this issue

Nursery News

Upper Johnstone Revegetation Project

Vegetation Incentives Program

Season's Plantings

Tree Planting on Crawfords' Property

Coming Events

Seed Collection Diary

Kids Page

Make a "Tree Climbing Kangaroo"


Nursery News

Peter Dellow

What a pleasant time of the year, despite having missed a decent wet season. The end of March marks the end of the planting season on the Tablelands and provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been a busy and diverse planting program. Congratulations to TREAT and all volunteers who helped plant more than 21,000 native rainforest trees across the Tablelands during the past 3 months.

Staff News

In January the nursery welcomed a new member of staff. Ray Albress formerly Ranger in Charge on Fraser Island joined the team on a part time temporary basis and has been a regular face on Friday mornings. Ray has brought many skills with him and has certainly applied himself in broadening his understanding of nursery management and restoration ecology.

On January 15 Kate Snodgrass wife of Peter sustained serious injury when she was struck by a car in Brisbane whilst on a Gymnastics coaching coarse. Peter immediately flew to Brisbane and for the next 8 weeks supported his wife in the Princess Alexandra Hospital. As a consequence Peter missed the entire planting season for which he was largely responsible for preparing. It is pleasing to report that both Kate and Peter are back home and Kate is recovering well. I'm sure I speak for all in wishing the Snodgrass family all the best.

New Roof

With great excitement I can confirm that replacement of the nursery roof will commence on Monday 11th April and is likely to take 3 weeks to complete. During this period the nursery will be closed to the public including TREAT and the regular Friday mornings. The new roof will address safety and production efficiency concerns and would not be possible without funding allocated by the QPWS. Michael Overland - Senior Ranger Tablelands South, Peter Snodgrass and Nick Stevens should also be recognised for their efforts in coordinating the project. All staff look forward to a resumption of normal business in early May with the new upgraded facilities.

Wet Tropics Wildlife Corridor

Despite the completion of projects on the Tablelands our planting season continues on the coastal lowlands. For more than seven years TREAT and the QPWS have been working to strengthen wildlife corridors adjacent to the Walter Hill Ranges between El Arish and Tully. With funding from Powerlink Queensland, this year will see a further 6000 trees planted on freehold properties in the target area. Community involvement is critical for success of the project and this year TREAT and QPWS will stage 2 community plantings in an effort to restore an additional 2 hectares. Plantings will take place in late May and June however dates are yet to be finalised. Your participation in the Wet Tropics Wildlife Corridor plantings will be greatly appreciated and provide an opportunity to view previous plantings and speak to local landholders.


The Upper Johnstone Revegetation Project

Helen Irwin

Aims of the Project

An award winning local effort the Upper Johnstone Revegetation Project

Aims to:

Awards:

A big job gets smaller every year

By the 1980s, when some individual landholders in the Upper Johnstone Catchment started to re-plant trees along the creek banks, only 10% of the original vegetation remained. In 1993, they formed the Malanda and Upper Johnstone Catchment Landcare Association (Malanda Landcare), and began planning and organizing funds for significant revegetation works.

Firstly National Landcare Project funds were secured, then Natural Heritage Trust grants enabled continuation of the work.

Now in 2005, Natural Heritage Trust Envirofunds will bring the total number of trees planted to over 130,000 since 1995.

Continued support from our regional body, FNQ NRM Ltd., means that a part-time Landcare Coordinator is able to apply for grants each year.

Over 12km of stream and creek banks have been planted with local rainforest species, involving 21 landholders and hundreds of volunteers. A Green Corps team as well as many Conservation Volunteers Australia crews have assisted local volunteers.

Fencing off revegetated areas excludes cattle, with the installation of constructed cattle access points and off-stream watering points having a significant positive impact on water quality. We now use a strand of plain wire on the top to avoid injury to flying and gliding wildlife.

Local provenance seedlings are used to ensure suitability to the area and to provide maximum benefit for wildlife species. Most seedlings have been sourced from Eacharn Shire Council's Community Revegetation Unit.

Researcher Lars Kazmeier recently identified over 20 individual tree kangaroos using the corridor, while Dr. Graham Harrington from Birds Australia carries out regular bird censuses to monitor increasing habitat values.


Vegetation Incentives Program

Bronwyn Robertson

Do you want to be paid to manage bush on your property?

The Vegetation Incentives Program has been created by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines to pay landholders to actively protect and manage selected areas of bush on their properties. The program targets areas of regenerating native vegetation with the intention of protecting them and letting them regrow over time.

The Queensland Government has allocated $12 million to conserve high- value areas of native bush which may otherwise not be protected.

How you can be involved

The Vegetation Incentives Program (VIP) will pay you to work on your own land to ensure that its natural values are maintained. It allows landholders to earn on-farm income and gain a real commercial return for the effort they put in.

And that's fair. By preserving selected areas of vegetation, landholders are looking after something the broader community wants protected for future generations.

However, landholders don't have to participate. It's their land, so they make the decision.

How the program will work

If you are interested, there is an opportunity to take part in a commercial tendering process on a job-by-job basis. This process allows you to quote for doing the work of managing areas of regenerating native vegetation on your own property.

Projects under the VIP could include:

You may be able to continue to graze the land or continue other production if it doesn't conflict with the maintenance of its natural values.

Expressions of interest now open

Expressions of interest are now being taken for all regions excluding South East Queensland and Southern Region (including New England tablelands).

Expressions of interest close in these regions on 29 April 2005. Expressions of interest are simple documents which will be assessed to determine if your property is eligible.

If your expression of interest is successful, you will be provided with technical advice to assist in developing a more detailed management proposal and a quote to undertake the work.

For more information, contact Bronwyn Robertson from Greening Australia on 4091 4869.

To participate, you will need to apply to place a covenant on the relevant area of the title of your property and to do the work of caring for the area for five years.

The program aims to take advantage of the unique skills of landholders. Your proposal will therefore reflect your understanding and judgement on what is best for your nominated tract of land. A support person will ensure timely access to the best possible advice and information.

To find out more

The Vegetation Incentives Program recognises that landholders and managers are an essential element in the maintenance of the bush. The government is willing to pay to secure your participation.

To find out more, contact Steve Cupitt at Greening Australia Queensland on 1800 655 524 or email kcupitt@qld.greeningaustralia.org.au

Alternatively, Bronwyn Robertson is Greening Australia's local officer based in Atherton and can be contacted on 4091 4869, 0428 197 491 or brobertson@qld.greeningaustralia.org.au


Season's Plantings

Barb Lanskey

It has been another big planting season for TREAT with a total of over 20,000 trees being planted for various projects for TREAT, MFRT (Mabi Forest Recovery Team) and individual landholders.

Beatrice River: TREAT's season started on 4th December 2004 with a smallish planting of 1500 trees on the banks of the Beatrice River at Merv Watt's property on Biggs Rd. This project had funding support from the Australian Governments' Environfund series and TREAT had agreed to supply the trees and assist with the planting.

Nursery staff decided on a December planting so site preparation and planting could be achieved before any wet season rain made things too difficult. Irrigation was set up for the site with help from nursery staff and a neighbour and the trees were watered the day of planting. About a dozen volunteers assisted several family members with the planting and I remember it as a pleasant morning's work with easy planting conditions, the site being well prepared.

Rain came the week after planting and Merv says the trees are doing very well - even 5 trees not planted that he found 2 months later thriving with their roots through the pots (now properly planted!). Maintenance to keep weeds under control is now the main task and Merv is deliberately leaving weeds between the planting rows to help provide some cover fro the young trees in the event of frost.

Peterson Creek: We had 3 plantings for the Peterson Creek corridor project.

The 1st was a planting on 29th January of 2,500 trees on Byrnes' property to thicken the vegetation at the Lake Eacham end of Peterson Ck. Funding assistance was from FNQ NRM Ltd (Far North Qld Natural Resource Management).

This was an ideal planting. The nursery staff had the site ripped prior to hole digging, there was rain each afternoon leading up to the planting, keeping the ground moist, and the day of the planting it was fine with plenty of shade available from the established trees on the creek bank. No wonder we loitered over the BBQ afterwards. It didn't rain the afternoon of the planting but did a few days later and the trees are doing well.

The 2nd planting of 1,500 trees on 12th February was on Palumbo's property with funding assistance form TSN (Threatened Species Network). This was an "infill" planting on the northern side of plantings done in 1998 and later - now well established. The infill trees were mostly bushy types and they were used along with some vines, to combat the "edge effect" where weeds grow in the light under tall trees. The weather was not good for tree planting. It was so hot and dry the nursery staff abandoned hole digging the day before planting and decided to dig holes the morning of the planting. This was to have some moisture in the loose soil to minimise transplant shock for the young trees.

About 50 volunteers turned up and about half-way through they caught up to the hole diggers when they struck a bad patch of dead grass. A "smoko" was called and under shady trees we much enjoyed home cooked scones with jam and cream! After a while, the go ahead was given to finish the planting after which there was a second round of refreshments. The trees were watered that afternoon by nursery staff using a water truck and they had to be watered again before rain came.

The 3rd planting of 2,500 trees was on 5th March, funding support coming this time from Envirofund. This Planting was to infill the 2002 planting on Palumbo's and deTournouer's properties. The southern side of the 2002 planting had suffered badly form frost and wind exposure and most of the trees were to replace losses in this area. On the northern side the trees were to augment the planting with the addition of a new area of 500 trees around a spring.

Again, the weather was dry for planting. Irrigation was used for the larger infill areas on the southern side. One section was irrigated after hole digging, prior to planting and the other section was irrigated immediately after planting. We were fortunate to have SFS (School for Field Studies) students help about 30 volunteers for the planting. Besides some of the students trying their hand at hole digging at the spring area, they also lent a hand to shift the irrigation after a BBQ lunch.

With an abundance of mulch on site, a subsequent watering and rain after cyclone Ingrid, the trees have got a good start.

Picnic Crossing: The Mabi Forest Recovery Team (in which TREAT is involved) received assistance funding from Envirofund to plant 6,000 trees on Reserve land at Picnic Crossing adjacent to a remnant Mabi forest fragment on the eastern side of the Barron River. TREAT agreed to supply trees and assist with planting.

A first planting of 3,300 trees was on 19th February during a period of unusually hot dry weather. There was a good turnout of over 70 volunteers, SFS students again swelling the numbers. The planting was difficult, stoney country. The holes were dry and the neighbouring landowner assisted with watering the trees after planting using his tractor and water tank. It was a slow job and a fire trucks' services were obtained as well after the BBQ lunch. Some trees could not be watered till the following morning. Watering was then a priority until rain in early March.

A second planting of 2,000 trees took place on 12th March which was the day after overnight rain of about 200mm. What a difference! A regular band of 20 volunteers turned up and this time the planting was easy as the ground was like soft butter. Instead of sun there was continuous rain, heavier showers holding off till after we finished planting. The road down to the planting became a shallow watercourse for its whole width and we were thankful to have some 4WD vehicles to save wading through it. Only Tony walked its course down and then insisted on walking back up! Refreshments after planting in the shelter of the neighbours' shed was a hurried affair as everyone wanted to get home and get dry. We noted the trees in the first planting were looking quite happy after their big drink overnight.

The final 700 trees were planted mid-week in the afternoon of 17th March at an unscheduled planting to take advantage of the moist soil from the heavy rain at the weekend. ESCRU (Eacham Shire Council Revegetation Unit) dug the holes and a ring around for volunteers resulted in 16 people helping to put the trees out and plant them.

ESCRU have now mulched the trees planted in March and some of the more exposed trees planted in February. Maintenance will be done for the first year by ESCRU and watering will remain a priority if dry weather continues.

Halloran's Hill: TREAT's planting season ended on 19th March with a planting of 2,500 trees on John and Helen Donovan's property on Halloran's Hill adjacent to a small Mabi forest remnant at the top of the Hill. This was another project with funding from Envirofund and TREAT had agreed to supply the trees and assist with the planting.

This was probably the hardest planting of the season. A lot of holes needed deepening and rain followed by a hot sun had washed dirt from around some holes and backed loose dirt into a lumps at others. The morning of the planting was pleasantly overcast and altogether about 40 volunteers helped with the "uphill" task. Amy Donovan's class at St Josephs' school have been to the nursery the week before and several of her classmates turned up with parents and friends; Ros Lauder and her family brought along some Atherton Cub Scouts and the Donovan youngsters were keen to help as well. Under guidance the young folk did a sterling job and were a big help. Unfortunately the day coincided with the Malanda Monsoon Festival and many volunteers had commitments there, and by midday the task wasn't quite finished with only a few struggling on. We broke for refreshments at Donovan's and a couple of us were able to help John for another hour to finish. John used a hose to water the trees immediately after planting but has now set up irrigation and is heavily mulching the site.

Other Plantings: Don and Jill Crawford planted up another area of their property with help from the nursery and TREAT - see their article below.

Mark and Angela McCaffrey received funding assistance from Envirofund to plant 2,500 trees on their property at Kenny Road Tarzali. Mark and Angela's aim is to link up a large rainforest remnant on one side of their property to World Heritage Areas on the other side of Kenny Road. There is a tiny remnant halfway and in Jan 2004 a Friday morning planting strengthened this area with the addition of 450 trees. This year they wanted to make a link from the large remnant to this halfway mark.

A planting was scheduled for 22nd January but alas, rain made access to the site a big problem so it was cancelled. Thursday the following week things had dried out and Mark and Angela got 500 trees planted with help from friends. The next week they organised another 500 to go in on the Wednesday with help of friends and this time it was the hottest day of the week - but they battled on and got the trees in. At last, on Saturday 26th February conditions were favourable for about 20 volunteers to plant another 1200 trees.

Mark and Angela still have some remaining trees to plant, which is not supprising considering how much time and effort they give to other projects for TREAT, TKMG (Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group) and National Parks Volunteers. All the trees planted at their place have been watered from an irrigation line set up at the creek in their remnant forest. We had a little wander down there to enjoy the atmosphere after the Saturday planting. The tree planted to strengthen the little remnant had done really well under Mark and Angela's care, this year's planting should thrive too.

Catering: Thanks must go to those who provide refreshments at plantings, especially to "TREAT Catering Inc" who did a marvellous job at the Peterson Creek plantings and at the first Picnic Crossing planting. Their BBQs are always very welcome. They miscalculated this year, though, the SFS students' taste for sausages (many preferred the vegetarian patties) and we had sausages a la Walsh at the nursery on Friday morning!

Thanks: TREAT appreciates the assistance of regular members and non-members at community plantings. The reward is simply a job well done and the satisfaction of making a difference in the landscape environment.


Tree Planting on Crawfords' Property

Don & Jill Crawford.

On Saturday 15th January this year, 1600 trees were planted in Phase II of a three year project to create the Cassowary Corridor, a new wildlife corridor running from Lake Eacham National Park north to Maroobi Creek, where it will eventually join the existing Lakes Corridor and continue to Lake Barrine National Park. The planting was funded in part by the Australian Bird Environment Foundation, which provides financial assistance for voluntary conservation work relating to Australian native birds, their habitats and associated native fauna.

We were lucky to have reasonable rainfall the week before the planting which made it easier for the Nursery staff to dig the holes. On the Saturday it was fine and dry but not too hot, and the large turn-out of TREAT supporters meant that the planting was finished by 10.30. We started irrigating immediately and by mid-afternoon all the trees had been watered.

Again we were very fortunate this year in that we had 22mm rain on the 16th January, and a further 40mm on the 20th. So the trees got a really good start and are looking excellent.

As far as growth rates are concerned, there are several Bleeding Hearts and Quandongs at around the 1 metre mark but the star performer is undoubtedly the single Trema orientalis, which tops 1.4 metres after just 10 weeks in the ground.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this project, both last year and this year, and hope to see you all again next year for the final planting. In particular we would like to pay tribute to the expertise of the planters - out of 1600 trees we have lost only seven, a truly remarkable success rate.


Coming Events

Sat 23rd April 2pm Field day at Pelican Point led by Alan Gillanders
May contact the nursery Coastal Plantings
Sat 18th June 2pm Field day at Donaghy's Corridor led by Nigel Tucker
Sat 16th July 2pm Field day at Peterson Creek led by Peter Dellow

Fruit of the Month

This feature will be back next newsletter.


Seed Collection January - March 2005

SpeciesCommon Name
Acmenosperma claviflorumTrumpet Satinash
Aglaia sapindinaBoodyarra
Alpinia caeruleaGinger
Alstonia scholarisMilky Pine
Argyrodendron trifoliolatumTulip Oak
Austrobaileya scandensAustrobaileya
Blepharocarya involucrigeraRose Butternut
Brachychiton acerifoliusFlame Tree
Castanospora alphandii Brown Tamarind
Cordia dichotomaGlue Berry Tree
Croton insularis Silver Croton
Cryptocarya vulgarisNorthern Laurel
Cupaniopsis cooperianumCoopers Puzzle
Darlingia darlingianaBrown Oak
Dianella caeruleaFlax Liliy
Dysoxylum gaudichaudianumIvory Mahogany
Dysoxylum pettigrewianumSpur Mahogany
Elaeocarpus angustifoliusSilver Quandong
Elaeocarpus arnhemicusArnhem Land Quandong
Endiandra insignisHairy Walnut
Euroschinus falcataPink Poplar
Faradaya splendidaOctober Glory
Ficus congestaRed Leaf Water Fig
Ficus copiosa Plentiful Fig
Ficus fraseriSandpaper Fig
Ficus hispida Hairy Fig
Ficus leptocladaNipple Fig
Ficus pleurocarpa Ribbed Fig
Ficus racemosa Cluster Fig
Ficus septicaSeptic Fig
Ficus Watkinsiana Watkins Fig
Firmiana papuana Lacewood
Flindersia brayleyana Queensland Maple
Franciscodendron laurifolium Tulip Sterculia
Gmelina fasciculiflora White Beech
Guioa lasionuera Hairy Tamarind
Lomandra hystrixRiver Grass
Mallotus mollissimusWooly Mallotus
Mallotus paniculatusTurn in the Wind
Mallotus philippensisRed Kamala
Phaleria clerodendronScented Daphne
Rhodomyrtus pervagataIronwood
Rhysotoechia robertsoniiRobert's Tuckeroo
Sarcotoechia serrataFern Leaf Tamarind
Scolopia brauniiBrown birch
Sloanea australisBlush Alder
Sloanea macbrydeiGrey Carabeen
Stenocarpus sinuatusWheel of Fire
Sundacarpus amaraBlack Pine
Synima cordierorumSynima
Syzygium australeCreek Cherry
Syzygium tierneyanumRiver cherry
Terminalia sericocarpaDamson
Trema orientalisPeach Cedar
Xanthostemon whiteiiHairy Penda

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