TREAT Newsletter No 24 NOVEMBER 1999

TREAT NEWS Editor: Dan Murphy

Items are included in "Treat News" for their interest to members and do not necessarily express treat's views.

COMING EVENTS

November 13th - Plant Propagation and Identification Workshop.

December 4th - Xmas Breakup - Donaghy's Corridor

December 17th Friday - Last Nursery Friday Morning Working Bee for the year.

January 7th 2000 Friday - First Nursery Friday Morning Working Bee for the year.

January 29th 2000- Peterson Creek Tree Planting (Stage 3).


National Weedbuster Week

TREAT - State Award

Praise for Forest Work

Trees on Dairy Farms

Fruit of the Month

Tree Plantings for 2000

Site Preparation Time

NHT Grants for 1999-2000 - Bushcare

New Pots

Carbon Credits?

Hardwood the way to Go

Christmas Party

Nursery News

Sowing List


National WeedBuster Week

(10-17th October)

By John Hall

TREAT's involvement in the National Weedbuster Week this year was to initiate a community Weedbuster event at Halloran's Hill Environmental Reserve (Atherton) on Friday 15th October.

Singapore Daisy

Singapore Daisy - a serious environmental weed at Halloran's Hill

The reserve has deteriorated in recent years and exotic weeds are taking over in places - particularly lantana and garden escapee weeds - such as Busy Lizzy (Impatiens sp.), Wandering Jew (Commelina sp.) and Singapore Daisy (Wodelia trifoliolatum). These were the principle weeds which 40 volunteers targeted in three long and sweaty hours. Lots were removed, but lots more remained. It is a daunting task which must be tackled if the native vegetation in the reserve is to survive.

Although the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service (QPWS) have formal management responsibility for the reserve, a number of agencies have been involved with development and management in the past. TREAT and the North Queensland Afforestation Association (NQAA) have planted trees and the Shire Council has maintained parts of the lower slopes and rehabilitated the walking trails near the top of the hill.

As key representatives of these agencies were present, it was possible to hold meaningful public discussions on the future of the reserve during the morning tea break. Joan Wright represented TREAT, Nigel Tucker the QPWS, Greg Ovenden the Shire Council, Paul Davis the Department of Natural Resources and Mark Heaton the NQAA.

The general consensus of all those present - both agency representatives and community volunteers, was that the reserve is a wonderful natural asset, but at present is in poor shape and urgently needs rehabilitation. To do this, QPWS and the Shire Council should work towards joint trusteeship and development of a joint management plan. This issue - on which TREAT has lobbied long and hard in the past, was taken seriously and finally looks like being resolved.

Joan Wright, Vice President of TREAT, has written to the Environmental Protection Agency expressing concern and requesting a joint trusteeship be drawn up so that the Agency and Council could work together to maintain the area. A management plan is also advocated for the area with strong support for the establishment of a community group to assist with the work that has to be undertaken.


TREAT Recognised with State Award

by John Hall

TREAT has won the Queensland State 1999 National Bank "Community Link" Environmental award - it was won, we are told, because of our "wide ranging appeal to the community, use of volunteers and the extent of environmental programs". It was also won because Ruth Lipscombe - a long standing TREAT member from Innisfail, wrote a glowing profile of TREAT, our activities and community impact, and sent it to the National Bank!

But of course, she couldn't have painted such a picture if it had not been true! So - we can all congratulate ourselves on our "wide ranging appeal" and our "extensive environmental programs". Well done TREAT members!

There is a monetary award as well - $2000. TREAT Management Committee have plans to use this to upgrade Simon Burchill's excellent web page with an eye-catching frontpiece and a unique address : "www.TREAT.net.au" - we should be on-line with this address sometime towards the end of November.


PRAISE FOR FOREST WORK

(Tablelander, Tuesday, September 21, 1999)

Environment and Heritage and Natural Resources Minister Rod Welford has given TREAT and QPWS Centre for Tropical Restoration an official pat on the back in Parliament following his visit to the Tableland last month.

Mr Welford has described the work of the local Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tableland, as "truly inspirational" during an address.

Mr Welford spoke about the cutting-edge research into rainforest rebuilding being carried out by the QPWS, with huge potential benefits to rainforests and the Queensland economy.

"One of the reasons we've been so successful is due to the excellent relationship (with) the 500 strong TREAT group," he said. Mr Welford also praised John and Theresa Donaghy's world-first corridor, which until four years ago was a degraded stream bank.

TREAT Vice President Joan Wright said she was pleased with the visit. "It is good to have official recognition of the value of our work," she said.


TREES ON DAIRY FARMS

by Joan Wright

Sometimes TREAT wonders what is happening with long time members and how their trees, planted more than 10 years ago, are doing. In September members had a chance to find the answers to these questions when we visited the dairy farms of Janine Wallwork and her husband, and Sue and Steve Fairley in the Malan. The Malan is in the high country between Ravenshoe and Millaa Millaa where it rains a lot! Our day was blessed with beautiful sunshine!

Janine and Sue drove us round their farms to see their tree plantings, some done by TREAT and some by other agencies. The improvement in the farms in the last decade was very marked. Both farmers were very proud of their plantings, particularly of the rehabilitation work on their creek which transformed that part of the farms. They found the maintenance work after planting was arduous but essential.

Tony Irvine, our President, was able to give some advice when Janine and Sue asked what could be done to hold the bare soil on the creek banks under the well-grown trees. Tony found a native species of Pollia (like Wandering Jew) and recommended that it could easily be planted and would cover the banks in the shade.

Our very enjoyable field-day finished with afternoon tea in the shed and a sample of very fresh milk! A warm thank-you to our faithful members, Janine and Sue.


Fruit of the Month

by Tania Murphy

NORTHERN TAMARIND - Diploglottis diphyllostegia

When people invite you to : "Try this Bush Tucker", I usually approach with caution. Not so much for the fear of eating something I shouldn't, I only listen to people with sound botany skills, but rather because I think very few of them really taste any good.

Northern Tamarind (Diploglottis diphyllostegia) is probably no exception - but do not let that stop you from trying it. My usual reaction, and one I've seen repeated on many other faces, is to screw up my nose as if I've just bitten into a quite tart lemon or lime or perhaps a "Fruit Tingle".

Diploglottis diphyllostegia

This Tamarind, like others, comes from the family Sapindaceae - an important rain forest family. Sapindaceae is a quite large group of 150 genera and 2000 pantropic species with about 30 genera occurring naturally in Australia.

In terms of rain forest resources, Sapindaceae (and the Tamarinds are no exception) offer a very nutritious aril (fleshy coating) on the seed. The aril is particularly attractive to fruit eating birds and it's no surprise therefore that birds are the main dispersers of these seeds. As a consequence the bird attracting tamarinds and certainly Diploglottis diphyllostegia, represent an excellent choice for revegetation plots. Bringing in birds, is not only a delight to the hard working tree planter but also carries the dual benefit of encouraging establishment of other rain forest species through their feathered dispersal agents.

Diploglottis diphyllostegia has compound, alternate and pinnate leaves. Leaflet upper mid-ribs, undersides, leaf axes and twigs are often hairy. 4-5mm diameter flowers form an inflorescence (large cluster of flowers) and might be cream, brown, white or green in colour. The fruit are a very attractive brown, green or yellow hairy capsule which splits open when ripe to show a juicy translucent yellow aril (the edible part).

This species can be found in rain forest from sea-level to 900m and extends from central Queensland (Eungella) to Cape York Peninsula although it is more common on drier more seasonal rain forests (eg. it is a common species in the drier Type 5B, Simple Notophyll Vine Forest on Basalt. In these forest locations, this species forms a canopy tree to 30m and fruits from July to December.

Overall, a good performer and one that will be sure to attract birds to your plot. You also have the added benefit of being able to introduce your friends to the 'delights' of bush tucker.

PS. The fruit is supposed to make a good cordial - obviously lots of sweetener required - recipes welcome!


TREE PLANTINGS FOR 2000

Volunteer tree planters will be needed for an even bigger 2000 planting season. We will be hosting plantings once a month from January through to May and welcome the now traditional tremendous TREAT turnouts.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

SITE PREPARATION TIME

Now is the time to be identifying your tree planting project area and commencing site preparation. Most often that means weed management. Options include mechanical control, herbicide application or simply mulching. Talk to staff at the nursery for further advice. We have an excellent range of stock for the 2000 planting season and encourage members to make ready their sites. We look forward to seeing members wishing to access trees for the 2000 season Friday mornings at the nursery.


NHT GRANTS FOR 1999 - 2000

Bushcare Logo

Once again, the Commonwealth Government has given TREAT all the Natural Heritage Trust grants that were requested - four, totaling $64,500. These grants support our four major projects for the current year - 1999/2000, and will match TREAT in-kind inputs of an estimated $80,630. The overall cost of these four projects this year, is therefore estimated at $145,130.

Peterson Creek Revegetation Project (NHT GRANT $20,500)

Activities under this three year project - now in its final year, will continue with the revegetation of the targeted 5kms of Peterson Creek, creating "stepping stones" which can eventually be linked to form a continuous vegetated wildlife corridor between Lake Eacham National Park and Yungaburra State Forest. During the year , a further 2-3 ha will be planted, fences constructed, cattle watering points built and wildlife monitored. Submissions will be made early next year to obtain further grants to enable the project to enter a second phase and complete the full corridor.

Mazlin Creek Rehabilitation Project (NHT grant $19,900)

During this second year of the three year project period, rehabilitation will continue along 3 kms of degraded creek bank in the upper reaches - near the Beantree Road crossing. Last year about a hectare of creek bank was planted with trees and supported with some 'soft engineering' works on the Inderbitzin and Homestead properties; this year about 2 ha of creek bank will be planted on Kattenberg's property. A cattle crossing will be constructed and the whole area fenced. Wildlife monitoring will continue in conjunction with Qld University of Technology. The project also received support from the Australian Macadamia Society. Further funds will be sought early next year to enable the project to be completed.

Pelican Point Research Project (NHT grant $6,900)

This project, now in its second year, was set up to measure the success of revegetation, using the Pelican Point Revegetation Project - planted over the period 1991 - 1994 as the model. Techniques used involve the monitoring of vegetation change, such as growth rates, flowering and fruiting phenologies and changes in bird and mammal usage. This NHT supported project is run in conjunction with two TREAT funded monitoring projects at Pelican Point, both carried out over three years - the mammal study now in its final year, and the bird survey, completed in 1995. Data from the mammal, bird and vegetation studies will be analysed and entered onto a data base for further analysis and retained as an historical record. An evaluation report will be published on completion.

Tree Awareness Project (NHT grant $17,200)

Needed for several years, this new project is in its first year. Submissions for continued financial support will be made in the new year. The project aims to build upon TREAT's past successes in creating public awareness by extending the content and circulation of our newsletters, by running more demonstrations and workshops and by expanding the schools programme. The grant also provides for the purchase of nursery materials so that plant production can be increased.


New Pots at the Nursery

The nursery has recently included a lot more reusable hard plastic pots in our nursery management program. This will mean more reusable pots and less waste plastic. The success of the effort will rely on TREAT members returning any empty hard plastic pots - please wash them out before returning.


WHAT ARE CARBON CREDITS?

(and the green energy industry explained)

by Darryl Killin, Private Forestry Development Officer, DPI

The Kyoto World Environment Conference held in 1997 focused attention again on the greenhouse gas situation and developed protocols as a result. One of the issues raised was carbon credits - the idea that carbon dioxide could be traded on the stock market and given a monetary value. Trees convert carbon dioxide into cellulose during their growth and in so doing act as a carbon sink. The essence of carbon trading is that this dollar value to carbon can theoretically be paid to the owner of the trees by a polluting agency, and can also be bought and sold by third parties.

However, there is much to sort out before it becomes a reality. Some key countries have not agreed to the Protocol yet and trading may not occur until the year 2008. Also research is needed to determine which species absorb carbon in different regions. The worst industrial polluters exist in the northern hemisphere yet the cleared land for tree planting is mainly in the southern hemisphere. Negotiations are happening at the highest international political level so for the time being it is a waiting game. If you are planting trees today, treat carbon credits as icing on the cake and don't rely on them being the actual cake!

One positive development out of the attention being paid to carbon issues is the idea of green energy using biomass fuel such as woodchips. Particularly in the tropics, with the proliferation of sugar cane and associated infrastructure, there is the potential to burn a combination of bagasse waste with wood fibres in altered sugarcane mills during the non-crushing season. This congeneration would create heat and pressure which can be converted to electricity and be sold back to the grid to replace coal-fired energy sources and maybe earn carbon credits as well.

There is good biomass production in the tropics - trees grow fast here, particularly on the wet tropical coast. For example, red mahogany (Eucalyptus pellita) on the coast MAY be suitable to grow on short rotations (3-5 years) and coppiced with no pruning or thinning costs and perhaps be an alternative to other cash crops.

More research and development into the economics and environmental considerations of biomass fuel and the species and planting configurations is needed in north Queensland before it can occur on a large scale. The enthusiasm and co-operation of the sugar indusry is also needed. If a biomass mill was to go ahead in the region it may provide an option for thinnings produced and currently wasted as part of a sawlog regime for farm forestry plots of high value species.


HARDWOOD THE WAY TO GROW

By Brett Paroz (DNR Farm Forestry Extension Officer)

Queensland will face an annual shortfall of hardwood sawn logs of nearly 0.5 million cubic metres by the year 2030. And by 2001 in the Pacific Rim region, demand for timber is expected to exceed supply by 325 million cubic metres. There is only one reliable way to overcome the Queensland shortfall and supply of the overseas demand - landowners must go into farm forestry in a big way.

Speaking at a farm forestry seminar in Ravenshoe, extension officer Brett Paroz said it would take tens of thousands of hectares of plantations just to meet the Queensland shortfall. "The future of the Queensland forest industry will largely depend on securing and even expanding its supply of raw materials," he said. Mr Paroz said taxation benefits could also be claimed if trees were being grown as a commercial timber venture, to address environmental land degradation, or as part of an overall farm management plan.

But farmers at the seminar said they found claiming tax benefits difficult because they were required to plant their trees in solid blocks to qualify. Despite this problem farm forestry could be an attractive proposition with many value-adding opportunities not often available in primary industry, Mr Paroz said.

He warned plantation timber needed plenty of careful planning because the land would be tied up for more than 30 years. "You must look at site selection, access, fencing, monoculture or mixed plantings, pruning, thinning, soil preparation, weed control and a variety of other factors," he said. "But there is plenty of assistance available if you want to go ahead."

Inquiries to the Department of Natural Resources in Atherton on Ph: 4091 1844.


CHRISTMAS PARTY / ALFRESCO LUNCH

4TH DECEMBER

This year the TREAT Christmas Party will take the form of a visit to Donaghy's Corridor and alfresco lunch in the shade on Saturday 4th December.

Members and other interested people are invited to go for a walk through the corridor to see first hand the amazing results of your hard work over the last few years. You won't be disappointed!

Meet at the top gates at about 9.30 to be ferried to the corridor. Walk starts at 10am, lunch at around midday. BYO sandwiches, quiche, cakes and other goodies to share. Don't forget sunscreen, hat and picnic blanket.


NURSERY NEWS

All staff at the Centre wish TREAT members a wonderful Xmas. We thank you all for your support throughout the past year. We have a big season planned for 2000 with lots of terrific projects and field trips for you to get involved in. See you all in the new year.

SOWING LIST 4th Quarter 1999

August

Opisthiolepis heterophylla Planchonella euphlebia
Acacia aulacocarpa Pittosporum ferrugineum Pleiogynium timorense
Acacia mangium Pleiogynium timorense Sloanea langii
Acacia melanoxylon Pullea stutzeri Syzgium gustavioides
Acronychia acidula Syzygium cormiflorum Syzygium kuranda
Aglaia sapindina Syzygium gustavioides

October

Alphitonia petriei

September

Austrobaileya scandens
Alphitonia whitei Acacia aulacocarpa Buckinghamia celsissima
Castanospermum australe Acacia melanoxylum Carnavonia aralifolia
Dysoxylum gaudichaudianum Acmena graveolens Chionanthus ramiflorus
Emmenosperma alphitonioides Acmena hemilampra Cryptocarya hypospodia
Euodia sp. Acronychia vestita Cryptocarya oblata
Euodia xanthoxyloides Agathis microstachya Diploglottis diphyllostegia
Ficus bat mouthings Alphitonia petriei Eucalyptus grandis
Ficus crassipes Arytera divaricata Ficus crassipes
Ficus destruens Chionanthus ramiflorus Ficus destruens
Ficus hispida Cryptocarya mackinnoniana Ficus obliqua var petiolaris
Ficus platypoda Dysoxylum alliaceum Ficus pleurocarpa
Ficus pleurocarpa Dysoxylum gaudichaudianum Ficus watkinsiana
Ficus superba Dysoxylum setosum Flindersia pimenteliana
Ficus virgata Elaeocarpus angustifolius Lomatia fraxinifolia
Flindersia bourjotiana Ficus carasipes Mischocarpus exangulatus
Glochidion harveyanum Ficus obliqua var. obliqua Opitheolepis heterophylla
Glochidion hylandii Ficus pleurocarpa Orites sp.
Glochidion phillipicum Ficus watkinsiana Planchonella obovoidea
Halfordia scleroxyla Flindersia bourjotiana Syzygium cormiflorum
Hicksbeachia pilosa Harpullia rhyticarpa Syzygium kuranda
Hodgkinsonia frutescens Helicia nortoniana Syzygium sayeri
Macaranga involucrata Hicksbeachia pilosa Toechima erythrocarpum
Mallotus philippensis Irringbaileya australis
Myristica insipida Omalanthus novoguineensis

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