TREAT Newsletter Cool Season April - June 2008

Have You Seen This Turtle?

Alastair Freeman

Johnstone River Snapper

Head of Johnstone River snapper that was caught adjacent to Winfield Park, Malanda

Turtles are a familiar sight at many tree planting sites on the Tablelands. Usually the species is the ubiquitous saw-shelled turtle recently re-named Wullombinia latisternum. However, what many TREAT members may not be aware of is that there is a second rarer species of turtle on the Tablelands called the Johnstone River snapper (Elseya stirlingi). As its name suggests this species on the Atherton Tablelands is only known from the Johnstone River. In the lowlands, as well as the Johnstone River, there is also a record from the Tully River. We know they occur as far upstream as Winfield Park east of Malanda with populations also present in the Glen Allyn, Tarzali and Millaa Millaa areas.

Adult Johnstone River snappers are larger than adult saw shelled turtles, the species most often observed in the rivers, streams and dams of the Atherton Tablelands. The shells (carapace) of the Johnstone River snapper tend to be bigger than those of the saw shells although the biggest saw shells can equal in size adult snappers. The Johnstone River snapper also tends to have a bulkier head often with a white chin and/ or neck and you may see pale pink around the nose.

Recently a James Cook University Honours student Amanda O'Malley completed the first detailed study of the ecology of this species concentrating on four populations on the coastal lowlands. Her work indicated that there may be some concern for the conservation status of this species.

The Threatened Species Group of EPA in Atherton is interested in locating nesting sites on the Tablelands as well as receiving any new distribution records for the area particularly in catchments other than the Johnstone River. If you have observed any turtle nesting on your property or elsewhere or think that Johnstone River snapper may be present please contact me at:

Alastair Freeman
Threatened Species Group
Environmental Protection Agency
83 Main Street
Atherton 4883
Ph: 4091 8179


Inside this issue

A New MoU

Good Things for TREAT

Management Committee Changes

Nursery News

From Thailand

Taking a Butcher's at Community Tree Planting

Sprouting on Weeds

Plantings

Members' Project Plantings

Fruit Collection Diary

This newsletter is kindly sponsored by Biotropica Australia Pty Ltd.

www.biotropica.com.au


A New MoU

Barb Lanskey

What a turnout we had at the signing of the new Memorandum of Understanding! It was a very wet morning on Friday 14th March, but it didn't deter people from coming to be part of the very important occasion.

The new MoU replaces and strengthens the previous one signed in March 2004. This one is for a period of 5 years and again puts in writing the obligations of QPWS and TREAT to each other, for the common good.

Clive Cook, the Regional Director, again came up from Cairns to sign the document for the Qld Government. Above the din of the rain on the roof, he spoke of the energy of the partnership and the symbolism of the MoU. He also announced the Environmental Protection Agency had shuffled the boundaries and the local area was part of their new Wet Tropics.

Staff from Atherton and Lake Eacham QPWS came to the morning as well as TREAT's co-founders Joan and James Wright. Also present were David and Carol Leech (foundation members) and John Hall (secretary for many years and now chair of the Environmental Benefit Fund committee). The School for Field Studies students also swelled the numbers.

Morning tea which preceded the signing was TREAT's usual feast of goodies and there was a special celebratory cake for the occasion.

May this unique partnership at Lake Eacham continue long into the future!


Good Things for TREAT

Barb Lanskey

Good things have been coming TREAT's way recently.

In January we received a A$900 donation from a former School for Field Studies student Melissa Schlothan who wanted to do something for TREAT when she returned to the United States. She ran a marathon to raise the money and we'd like to acknowledge her donors in this newsletter so that in the U.S. they can access their names on the TREAT website. They are: Dr. Del Dickson, Judy Grady, Heather Moe, Maggie Vinson, James Park, Catherine Kelly, Amanda Freeman, Tim Curran, Dima Askar, Emily Clawson, Pam Chiba, Karen Satow, Elizabeth McCarthy, Robyn Brown, Lorrance Majewski, Gwen Gilbert, Ken and Gwyn Schlothan and Melissa Schlothan. Many thanks to all involved!

TREAT has received several substantial donations to the Environmental Benefit Fund (EBF) recently, some of them in response to the receipt of trees for projects on properties and others just because members wish to support TREAT in this way. These are all much appreciated.

In February we were delighted to be approached by Betta Real Estate's sales representatives on the Tablelands, Jo Doecke and Belinda Dalton, who wished to donate $200 from each commission on Tableland sales to TREAT's EBF. They are passionate about TREAT's work and say it is their way of helping to maintain the beauty of the local landscape. They have devoted a page to TREAT in their new sales brochure and of course we wish them many sales!

We were also recently approached by Tour-Dex, a Cairns company who maintain stands of brochures in touristy premises for a fee. They also thought they would like to contribute in some way to TREAT's work and offered to have our lovely green brochures "Trees need us to plant them" in their Tableland stands for free. Thank you, Tour-Dex!

Tablelands National Park Volunteers Jodie Eden and Therese Taurins are working on a project for TREAT to encourage people to buy trees as presents. This doesn't mean people physically will buy a tree, but the buying of the present means a card is received to indicate a tree will be planted in the recipient's honour. We hope this project will boost donations to the EBF especially at Christmas, and that many more trees can be planted.


Management Committee Changes

Barb Lanskey

At the last Annual General Meeting Ken Schaffer accepted the position of Treasurer in a temporary capacity as he and Dawn were going overseas in April. In January, Ken approached a book-keeper to assist with the Treasurer's job and TREAT were most fortunate that the person approached was Carmel Panther. She not only agreed to help, she became our new Treasurer. Ken was delighted as she took over so easily and Carmel now occupies his old position every Friday. Carmel's husband Jim also comes to TREAT now on Fridays.

At the January management committee meeting Colin Hunt and Maxine Pitts resigned from the committee as Colin has contracted to write a book "Climate Change and Carbon Sinks: Forests in the Fight Against Global Warming" which means they are moving to Brisbane. They've both been great committee members and will be much missed. Colin was Vice-President, but that position has now been filled by Ken Schaffer as he's no longer Treasurer.

At the March meeting, we welcomed Elizabeth Hamilton-Shaw to the committee. Elizabeth is a regular volunteer on Friday mornings and has recently resigned from teaching at St Joseph's in Atherton.

There is still a vacancy on the committe. If someone is interested in joining the management committee, please talk to any of the committee members.


NURSERY NEWS

Nick Stevens

While many of the larger scheduled plantings this wet season had to be re-organised due to heavy rain events, many TREAT members have been able to take advantage of the great planting conditions with smaller plantings on their own properties. To date the Environmental Protection Agency and TREAT have supplied around 150 members with nearly 4,900 trees this season and the nursery still has plenty of stock available for some areas of the tableland, particularly the area between Malanda, Yungaburra, Kairi, Atherton and Wongabel. Limited quantities of stock are available for other parts of the tableland.

If you are still thinking about planting some trees this season get out there and do it as soon as possible - the dry season is not that far away and with the not so distant memory of last year's frosts still lingering, it is best to get your trees established before the weather turns much cooler.

Many thanks to all the volunteers, EPA staff and contractors who were able to assist with this year's preparation and planting at Massey Creek. Aside from the initial postponement the operation went smoothly and we reached our target of 3,000 trees planted.

It is now 10 years since planting first commenced on this site and the first few years of plantings are well established, with few gaps and very little weed infestation - even after Tropical Cyclone Larry!

Next year we are proposing to install a buffer planting along the north-east boundary of the park. Look forward to a possible field trip later this year to have a look at the existing plantings and to get a glimpse of future restoration sites around this important upland linkage.

We're all set for a final EPA/TREAT planting for the season at the Ma Mu Canopy Walk site near Crawford's Lookout in the Palmerston Section of Wooroonooran National Park. The planting date has been set for Saturday 19th April with a start time of 8.00 am and we're intending to plant around 1,500 - 2,000 trees. It is possible that interested people will have the opportunity to walk a section of the canopy walk following the planting.

Hope to see you there!


FROM THAILAND

Ricky Ward

(Ricky Ward visited TREAT in February and spoke on Friday morning)

At the age of 22 in 1968, as a member of a student group, led by the late Jim Cairns MHR, I travelled to Cambodia, the one country in South East Asia not then embroiled in war or military dictatorship.

There we went to see the fabulous temples of Angkor in a great forest dominated by tall straight Yang - Dipterocarpus alatus trees.

In later years as the tragedy which had engulfed Cambodia precluded a return, I would often take a break from the colds and flu of wintry Melbourne to visit Cambodia's neighbor Thailand. Here, although I travelled widely, the nearest I came to seeing Yang forest was an avenue of over a thousand trees, planted in 1904 on a winding road into Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city.

Chiang Mai at 18 degrees 47 minutes N. ( Ingham is at similar southern latidude) sits on the largest of about ten wide alluvial plains separated by mountain ranges and gorges across the north of Thailand. Many of the ranges still have forests dominated by trees of Di-ptero-carpeacae*, deciduous at low, evergreen at mid elevations, or by evergreen Fagaceae (oaks and chestnuts) above around 1200m. Pinus species dominate some of the dry ridges.

Great Teak forests which once covered perhaps a third of our north have all beeen logged, mostly to their complete destruction. Similarly no plains forests remain as most of the land is now paddy fields, roads or urban sprawl. Yet on piecing together a picture from scattered remaining trees and a study of forests along streams in the foothills comes a vision remarkably similar to the forests of Angkor, with an important difference being that the Yang trees are no longer D. alatus but very similar D. turbinatus.

With a background of revegetation activity from Melbourne, I could not resist the temptation to learn how to grow forests when I came to "retire" in Thailand in 2000. With the only native plants here that I recognized from home being Kangaroo Grass and the reforester's greatest enemy, the fire-loving Blady Grass (Imperata cylindrica), the learning curve was steep. Soon I was battling with the painful Mimosa invisa and Queensland's newest wildflower Siam Weed (Chromolaena odorata) - root it out , don't cut - and later Mile-a-minute Mikania sp. - pull, pull, pull - all introduced from America.

The other great shock was the 5 or 6 month long dry season, very un-Victorian. This has led to some strange behavior of mine - putting shades on some trees and on occasions watering them.

My initial work was in Nan province west of Chiang Mai, some 350km by road zig-zagging around the mountains. There I planted seedlings from the local government forest nursery and a few propagated by myself. Much of my tree knowledge was coming from talking to local farmers and hunters but in 2001 appeared an excellent "Forest Trees of Northern Thailand" by Simon Gardener et al. with photos and descriptions of a bewildering number of over 800 native trees.

After moving to Chiang Mai I learnt of the work of a Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) at the university, which had received much help and inspiration from TREAT's very own Nigel Tucker. FORRU gave me some plants but as their work was concentrated on evergreen mountain forest restoration and mine was along the streams in the plains, it was clear that I would have to organize seed collection and arrange for nurseries on the plains to grow trees . I could and did grow some trees on a vacant block near my apartment with the help of a friend but this would not be enough.

Thailand has a very large network of forest department nurseries established in an era when plantation forestry and "watershed restoration" (mainly disastrous planting of pines, like at Kuranda) were well funded. But as their growing of indigenous species was very limited (about 35 out of 77 according to one manual) I approached the provincial manager and we arranged that I would collect seed for his nurseries to grow. The result, although somewhat mixed largely because of a government funding squeeze, was some 20 to 30 tree species which were used in some school plantings and on some friends' private projects.

It is this loose network of Chiang Mai residents and people from educational institutions I call "Gum Hak Doi Suthep" - The Group which loves Mount Suthep, the largely forested mountain National Park next to Chiang Mai City. We have done some planting near waterfalls in the Park but for the last three years we have concentrated our efforts in an adjacent large and partly wooded Park. As the National Park has none of the plains forest we thought that replanting along streams leading out of the Park would bring back a little lost diversity and improve wildlife habitat.

We have found the military management of the park and their staff very welcoming and happy to have our help and learn from what we do. Much of the planting we do has had assistance from visiting student groups while our little band of up to six do most of the weeding at times with assistance from the Park workers. Our site preparation is a combination of using hand tools to grub weeds, tramping on grass and some spraying with glyphosate.

In three years I estimate we have planted 3,500 trees with survival rates ranging from around 20%, in an area which floods for 2 to 3 months most years, to around 90% where soil conditions are best. In 2007 the army folk tried to follow our example and planted about 5,000 trees on an area which they first cleared with a tractor. They planted in June at the beginning of the rainy season and because they kept weeds down when a fire came through recently most of their plantings and all of ours were spared.

We like to welcome visitors to come and look and give us a hand, so if any members or friends of TREAT are thinking of visiting Chiang Mai we would love to hear from you.

Ricky Ward email - gumhakdoisuthep_at_yahoo.com

* Di-ptero-carpeacae, from the Greek two-winged-seed.


Taking a Butchers* at Community Tree Planting

Larry Crook

*For the benefit of some of our readers, butcher's is short for butcher's hook which is rhyming slang for look.

How did the Butchers Creek Hall Association become one of the big four along with TREAT, Landcare and the Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group, in community tree planting on the Atherton Tablelands?

There is always a fair bit of interest out Topaz way for a bit of tree planting, after all naturalists abound out there... botanists, authors, filmmakers, photographers, ecologists and general folk with a keen interest in native revegetation, many having collected seed off their own property to replant cleared areas on their property.

One of these people, Larry Crook, got himself onto the Butchers Creek Hall Association (BCHA) committee as their treasurer back in 2003 and saw the opportunity of using the Association's incorporated status as a base to apply for Envirofund funding for revegetation projects that were being discussed by Topazians. The committee agreed to be involved with Envirofund and Larry set off to have a cuppa and a chat with a few locals.

In his first attempt at Envirofund (Round 1, 2004), Larry put together applications, sponsored by the BCHA, for two Topaz projects; at his and Kylie's place and Stan & Kaisa Breeden's. Imagine the yahooing and whooping that went on when the letters arrived announcing that they were both successful.

Larry's project was riparian repair (6,000 trees) while Stan revegetated a weedy area on the edge of his forest which adjoins his Nature Refuge (2,000 trees). After Stan and Larry had prepared their respective sites, Green Corps, Cairns TAFE students and friends assisted with the plantings. The Eacham Shire Community Revegetation Unit (ESCRU) (led by Bronwyn Robertson in those days) also assisted with the plantings and together with Larry & Kylie's nursery and Alan Tunley's nursery, supplied the tubestock. Larry & Stan are still maintaining their sites and they are looking pretty good (and so are the plantings!). Fortunately, they have both found extra funding along the way to employ the ESCRU to assist with maintenance. All in all, 8,000 trees were planted in the wet of 2005, an area of 2.66 hectares.

Buoyed with success, Larry assisted with three more BCHA sponsored applications in 2005 (Envirofund Round 6); Peter and Lyn Lotter's (2,000 trees), Harry & Margaret Ward's (2,000 trees) and Jeremy Russell-Smith and Di Lucas's (1,800 trees), all riparian repair work. Again all were successful and 3,800 trees (1.25 hectares) were planted in the 2006 wet by ESCRU. (The funds for Harry's project had to be returned due to ill health and a likely move away from the district. Thankfully, a full recovery was made.) ESCRU supplied the tubestock and maintained the trees for 12 months. The landholders continue to maintain the sites.

In 2006 three more BCHA sponsored projects (Envirofund Round 8) were successful; 3,000 trees for Stage 2 at Peter Lotter's, 2,500 trees for Stage 2 at Jeremy and Di's, and branching out from Topaz, Larry secured a project involving three adjoining properties on Gillies Creek, Tarzali (5,100 trees). A total of 10,600 trees or 3.5 hectares were planted in the wets of 2007 and 2008. ESCRU were involved in all three. By this time (mid 2006) Larry and Kylie had taken over managing ESCRU after Bronwyn departed.

Larry and the BCHA had a barney with Envirofund over its Round 8 assessments and decision making. It resulted in full funding being restored to the BCHA projects but in Round 9 of Envirofund, BCHA missed out completely on about six applications. One for the conspiracy theorists. However, Larry's efforts with TKMG sponsored Envirofund Round 9 projects were successful, so it's not personal!

The tally so far for BCHA sponsored plantings is 22,400 trees in the ground, cleaning up and revegetating almost 7.5 hectares on nine sites on seven properties. More local landholders involved with the hall become interested each round and this spreads by word of mouth. The Butchers Creek Hall Association will continue to sponsor worthy tree planting projects for as long as possible. And it keeps Larry off the streets.

Envirofund?

And if you are wondering what's happened to Envirofund (we are usually in the throes of application writing at this time of the year), it has been demolished. But don't despair because similar grants will become available under the umbrella of Caring for Our Country, the Australian government's attempt to do better in taking action to protect our natural environment and to make real and measurable progress etc, etc ad nauseum. It is a good thing in that, hopefully, projects will become less ad hoc, more strategic, measurable (read monitoring) and accountable. I can't say more measurable and more accountable because in the past they weren't. We'll wait and see. I'm not altogether happy with the name, Caring for Our Country, it sounds too much like the name another group has been using for a very long time; the government has just added 'our'.

CFOC will incorporate Natural Heritage Trust (Envirofund etc), National Landcare Programme, National Action Plan for Salinity and Water and the Environmental Stewardship Programme. CFOC funding is $2.25 billion for the first five years (1/7/08 - 30/6/13) which is close enough to $450 million per annum.

Another good thing is that some projects may be extended to three years. Small grants applications will start to be made available from May 2008 for the 2008-9 financial year.

Read more on the website www.nrm.gov.au/funding/cfoc-faq.html


SPROUTING ON WEEDS

Nigel Tucker

The tree planter's aim is almost always to re-establish native vegetation where weeds currently grow - though the task to most of us seems endless and of course, it is. Weeds are a fact of life. Around 10% of Australia's plants are recently (past 220 years) arrived aliens, escapees of gardens, aquariums or agriculture. They consume vast amounts of time and money and widespread control is impossible for all but a tiny fraction of the most recent arrivals. Small outbreaks in a localised area are theoretically controllable, but a lack of reporting, co-ordination and resources work against even this modest achievement. The real question to be asked is - which weeds do I need to control and why?

Most readers will be familiar with the concept of succession - plant communities go through stages, as for instance a bare landslip on the side of Mt Bartle Frere is gradually colonised by low growing herbs, then woody pioneers before mature forest plants begin to appear and the system develops towards a 'mature' rainforest state. Weeds appear at the beginning of succession, and their ability to persist or 'arrest' succession is a true measure of their danger. Remember, until a canopy is formed and weed resistance begins - restoration plots are heavily disturbed sites and they will be a magnet for many weeds.

Local danger weeds

Potentially, the most serious weeds are those which can grow within intact forests where there is virtually no human disturbance. Disturbance of course is an entirely normal and essential feature of all ecosystems, but most alien plants find it impossible to establish a foothold in forests where humans are not close by. Some plants however have very plastic habits and even natural disturbances can be exploited by species such as the African Tulip (Spathodea campanulata) which now appear as isolated trees many kilometres into the forest around Innisfail and Daradgee. The wind dispersed seeds of this plant, Siam Weed (Chromolaena odorata), and many others, can be carried kilometres by the wind. Domestic coffee (Coffea arabica) (grown in shade in many coffee producing countries) is another example of a plant with the ability to persist in deep shade, and to produce viable fruits in this situation. Frangipani Ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), Balsam (Impatiens spp.), Sanchezia (Sanchezia parvibracteata), Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum) are other examples of weeds which can tolerate low light levels and quickly colonise larger light gaps such as those beside streams and rivers.

One only has to look at weed spread into patches of native vegetation in urban areas to realize that garden weeds are one of the biggest local threats. Because many people have gardens with permanently shaded areas, everyone's looking for plants (especially ground covers) that will grow in the shade. Be very wary about accepting anything that will do well in the shade - if it does it will have a better chance than most of becoming a future pest because it is more able to cope with the shady conditions in a typical rainforest.

The other danger group is the vines. Naturally adapted to climbing to the light, these plants can grow over the canopy and smother the vegetation below. This group is especially adept at climbing into the forest from the edge, where disturbance can be regular and severe. All the Thunbergia species, Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) and Saritaea (Saritaea magnifica) are dangerous plants when it comes to invasive ability. The native Captain Cook Vine (Merremia peltata) with its large heart-shaped leaves is a good example of how even native plants can become 'weedy' when disturbance becomes unnatural.

The last danger group is the grasses, and for most tree planters these are the worst weeds of all. Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus), Hamel Grass (Pennisetum purpurea) and Signal Grass (Brachiaria decumbens) have the ability to arrest (and lock up) succession by blocking the germination of most woody plants, and promoting fires. Woody plants are essential to create the shade which the grasses cannot tolerate, hence the ability of grasses to maintain themselves (especially when fire occurs even on an irregular basis). Thankfully the grasses are a little easier to control. If you are having trouble thinking about where your tree planting efforts are best directed - look no further than the grasses and weeds along your creek bank. Until you get shade over the top of the grasses, succession will be locked up and the system will be in 'ecological limbo'.

No Choice Weeds

Legislation dictates that some weeds must be eradicated as soon as possible. There is a legal obligation on landholders to control weeds that are categorised as Class 1 or Class 2, or are locally declared (that is - declared as pest plants within your local government area). Siam Weed and Miconia (Miconia calvescens) are local examples of Class 1 weeds, whilst Sickle-Pod (Senna obtusifolia) and Pond Apple (Annona glabra) are locally widespread Class 2 weeds. These weeds have the ability to stop succession in its tracks, and then open up an 'invasion front' where they can spread into adjacent habitats. Every day you ignore them, you do so at your peril - these are serious weeds and their control should be taken seriously.

Beneficial weeds

There is a third group of weeds with the ability to actually help ecosystem restoration. Many of these are in fact Class 3 (environmental) weeds and their control is necessary if we are ever to have any effect on their numbers. However as I'm sure many tree planters realise, some of these plants are quite beneficial in stimulating succession. Lantana (Lantana camara), Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) and Tobacco Bush (Solanum mauritianum) are all local weeds which are able to out-compete the grasses and kick-start succession. No - I'm not advocating mass planting of these weeds, and I'm not saying don't control them - but before you control them have a look at what native plants are colonizing beneath and surrounding them. These three plants all have fleshy fruits and most are fed on by rainforest birds which consume native seeds and deposit them beneath these woody weeds. Because these woody weeds create shade, grasses are unable to persist and succession can commence, albeit slowly. Rapid re-growth of native plants can be achieved by controlling grasses only around woody weeds such as these.

No weeds?

Weeds are a bit like death and taxes, unavoidable. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to avoid them! Before you accept a cutting or buy that plant at the nursery/ market, it's worth asking a couple of questions - is it a vine, or a shade loving ground cover or shrub, does it grow easily (loud alarm bells if the answer to any of these questions is yes!).


PLANTINGS

Barb Lanskey

The weather wasn't so kind this year for the scheduled plantings in February and March. Five of the eight plantings had to be rescheduled. Three of them were still planted in March and a fourth is to be planted in April, but the second Peterson Creek planting will now be scheduled for September.

The first planting of 2,000 trees at Penny Scott's on 2nd February had a great roll-up of volunteers - over 60 adults and several children who often enjoy helping as well as playing. It was a cloudy morning and the trees had been wet by rain the previous day so planting conditions were good. Penny had lots of square bales of hay for the trees and they were mulched after planting. With so many volunteers the planting was completed by 9.30am and we then relaxed at the barbeque organised by TREAT and Penny. Rain followed a couple of days later, so the trees received a good watering.

Penny's second planting of 2,000 trees was scheduled for 1st March but the ground was so boggy the day before the planting, it was cancelled. During the following week, flood conditions prevented hole digging at the Massey Creek site and that planting had to be cancelled, but this gave Penny the opportunity to complete her planting from the previous week. TREAT members were informed on Friday and the School for Field Studies students were available so nearly 50 volunteers helped Penny and Jorg on 8th March. Only in the wetter areas were some of the holes still full of water, but the students were full of energy and all the trees were planted and mulched. This time the hay bales had taken up a lot of water and were very heavy so those handling them needed plenty of muscle. Penny provided tea and coffee with cake and other goodies for the volunteers afterwards.

At Peterson Creek on 9th February 2,000 trees were planted, mostly on the Williams site downstream from the planting done in October last year. This year the site preparation was done by the Eacham Shire Community Revegetation Unit (ESCRU) after Envirofund insisted that it not be done by employees of the Qld Government. QPWS nursery staff were still involved in the planting though, to ensure the correct placement of tree species. ESCRU will be contracted for maintenance of the planting for the first year, after which QPWS nursery staff can be contracted as funding is then through Terrain NRM. The week leading up to the planting was wet but the day was fine and over 60 volunteers (including SFS students) had the planting completed by 9.30am. There was the usual TREAT barbecue afterwards and then a few of the parked cars had to be rescued from soft edges on Peeramon road - student numbers helped! The second Peterson Creek planting had to be cancelled as the continued wet conditions precluded any site preparation.

Mike and Robyn Carter's planting on 16th February went ahead as scheduled. The site had been deeply ripped, the ground was wet and the trees were in small tubes, so the planting was a relatively easy one for the 30 volunteers. A barbeque followed, organised by TREAT, and we were on our way home by 11am. Unfortunately, that evening there was really heavy rain on the planting and the rip lines on the steep slopes were washed out, along with many trees. Mike and Robyn had to rescue and replant trees and they also took on the mulching job. There have been no dramas with the planting since and hopefully the weather will be kinder for their second planting of 2,000 trees on 12th April.

Peter Tuck's first planting scheduled for 15th March had to be cancelled the day before as a deluge of rain made conditions too boggy to place the trees for planting. The next weekend was Easter and there was no planting scheduled so Peter opted to do his planting Easter Saturday and to plant only the number of trees volunteers could reasonably handle. Many phone calls were made and on the day (which was fine) 45 volunteers came to help. Again the site was deeply ripped but in this case the heavy rain had settled the rip lines and then a couple of sunny days had dried out the top few inches. The advice to just push the rip lines apart to plant the trees simply didn't work as it might have the previous week. Some used mattocks, others used their trowels and finally an auger was used to help. There were bales of sugar cane mulch to put around the trees, and despite the slower work all 2,000 trees were planted, fertilised and mulched. Peter had organised irrigation and the first of the trees were being watered while the last were being planted. A halt was called at 10.45am and we were then treated to Trixie's delicious cooking with tea and coffee - a great reward for the planting effort! Peter intends to have holes dug in the rip lines for his next planting on 5th April.

The Massey Creek planting of 3,000 trees cancelled on 8th March was rescheduled for 29th March in place of the Ma Mu Canopy Walk planting (which will now be on 19th April). The weather was overcast and 35 volunteers (one from Cairns) turned up for the planting. Holes had been dug but two sunny days before the planting dried out soil for some of the holes dug early. The planting was finished in about 3 hours after which we enjoyed TREAT's barbequed sausages with salad. The heavier drizzle held off until the planting was finished, and hopefully the trees have now been watered by some rain.


Members' Project Plantings

If members have a small planting project on their property and would like advice on tree species and other aspects of the project, come to the nursery on a Friday morning with a plan of the project site (and any other relevant information) and the nursery staff and TREAT will assist you. Please ring either the nursery staff (4095 3406) or Barbara Lanskey (4091 4468) during the week to ensure your visit will not clash with some Friday event and nursery staff will be available.


Fruit Collection Diary January - March 2008

SpeciesCommon NameCollection Provenance
Alocasia brisbanensisCunjevoi7.8.1, 7.8.2
Alpinia arctifloraPleated ginger7.8.1
Alpinia caeruleaCommon ginger7.8.1, 7.8.2
Alstonia scholarisMilky Pine7.3.10, 7.8.2, 7.8.3
Anthocarapa nitidulaIncensewood7.8.3
Athertonia diversifoliaAtherton Oak7.8.2
Cordyline cannifoliaPalm Lily7.8.1, 7.8.2
Cryptocarya triplinervisBrown Laurel7.3.10
Cupaniopsis foveolataWhite Tamarind7.8.2
Darlingia darlingianaBrown Silky Oak7.8.1, 7.8.2
Davidsonia pruriensDavidson's Plum7.8.1
Diospyros pentameraGrey Persimmon7.8.2
Dysoxylum parasiticumYellow Mahogany7.8.3
Elaeocarpus arnhemicusArnhem Land Quandong7.8.2
Euroschinus falcataPink Poplar7.8.3
Ficus congestaRed-leaf Fig7.8.1, 7.8.2
Ficus crassipesRound leaf Banana Fig7.8.2
Ficus septicaSeptic Fig7.8.2
Ficus superbaSuperb Fig7.8.2
Ficus virgataFig7.8.1
Flindersia brayleyanaQueensland Maple7.8.2
Ganophyllum falcatumDaintree Hickory7.3.10, 7.12.1
Geissoiss biagianaBrush Mahogany7.8.2
Gmelina fasciculifloraWhite Beech7.8.2
Guioa acutifoliaGlossy Tamaring7.8.3
Guioa lasioneuraSilky Tamarind7.8.2
Homalanthus novo-guineensisNative Bleeding Heart7.8.4
Lomandra hystrixCreek Mat Rush7.8.2
Mallotus mollissimusWoolly Mallotus7.8.3
Melastoma affineNative Lasiandra7.8.2, 7.8.1
Melicope vitifloraNorthern Evodia7.8.1, 7.8.2, 7.8.4
Melodorum leichhardtiiAcid drop vine7.8.2
Pilidiostigma tropicumApricot Myrtle7.8.1, 7.8.2
Pitaviaster haplophyllusYellow Aspen7.8.4
Pleuranthodium racemigerumRaceme Ginger7.8.1
Polyalthia michaeliiCanary Beech7.8.1
Rhysotoechia robertsoniiRobert's Tuckeroo7.8.3
Scolopia brauniiBrown Birch7.8.2
Symploccos stawelliiWhite Hazelwood7.8.1
Synima macrophyllaTopaz tamarind7.8.3
Syzygium boonjieBoonjie Satinash7.8.2
Terminalia sericocarpaDamson Plum7.8.3
Trema orientalisPeach cedar7.8.2, 7.8.3
Viticipremna queenslandicaVitex7.8.2

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