· the right tree · in the right place ·
· for the right reason ·

TREAT News | Storm Season October - December 2021

Workshops 2021 and Christmas Break

Saturday 6 November9.00 amTree ID and Seed Propagation workshopLake Eacham nursey
Saturday 20 November8.30 amRevegetation workshopFreemans Forest NR, Cutler Road

These popular workshops are being held again this year in November. The Tree ID and Seed Propagation workshop is restricted to 20 participants but more can attend the Revegetation workshop. It is necessary to register if you wish to attend either workshop - please ring Barbara Lanskey (ph 4091 4468). Both workshops are free and open to non TREAT members as well as members.

Tree identification and seed propagation workshop

This workshop is held in two sessions with a tea/coffee break in between, and is scheduled to finish at 12.30pm. Dinah Hansman presents the tree ID session and Peter Snodgrass presents the seed propagation session. Dinah explains how to identify tree species by examining leaf features, using examples from branches she brings along. Peter sources various seed examples and shows the best ways to germinate the different types and grow them.

Revegetation workshop

This workshop is held at Freemans Forest Nature Refuge where hole digging and planting can be demonstrated. An information session is held first, to talk about what is involved in site preparation, planting and maintenance of a planting site. Mark and Angela McCaffrey and Peter Snodgrass share their knowledge and extensive experience and notes are handed out. There is a tea/coffee break after the information session, then at a designated area, augers are used to dig holes and trees are planted, to give participants hands-on experience. The workshop usually finishes about midday. Freemans Forest NR is on Cutler Road off Lake Barrine Road.

Christmas/New Year break

Depending on Covid restrictions, TREAT will assist with some special food for the Friday morning working bee on 24th December. The nursery staff will take their usual Christmas/New Year break and will be back at the nursery on Monday 3rd January. The first Friday working bee in the new year will be 7th January.

Inside this issue

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Tales of Engaging Landholders in Landcare

A personal perspective over 19 years

Lisa O’Mara

Landholders come in all different shapes - Traditional Owners, councils, schools, government departments, sugar or banana growers, fruit/veg growers etc.

In my coordinator roles for Treeforce and Mulgrave Landcare the main engagement with landholders over the years has been with councils, schools and to a lesser degree, Traditional Owners. I am not very proud of that, but I am currently trying to make up for those lost years by current engagement with the Wanyurr-Majay in Fishery Falls and Deeral, and the Dulabed Malanbarra in Gordonvale.

Landholder engagement is not easy, most of the time it is difficult, and it can take a collective effort by a community group of over 10 years.

Treeforce was born in 1991 as a result of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Status in 1988 and the establishment of the Wet Tropics Nursery at the council depot in Stratford. Founding members include Bill Sokolich, Lesley Clark, Bruce Jennison and others and the first tree planting was the Tree Train to revegetate the fire ravaged slopes of Redlynch. Since 2003 Treeforce has been massaging an 11km section of Freshwater Creek in Redlynch from Tognolini’s Bend to the Glenoma Park, made possible with Local, State and Federal funding and engagement with the two local schools and the council.

Remember I said difficult? Working with council can be supportive and difficult at the same time and like schools, you just need that one person, that one teacher and grounds person team, and then it becomes a pleasure. It helps if they have the same goals and passion for the environment as you do which gives them super powers to jump through and over the bureaucratic hoops and hurdles.

We have had losses. . all those already existing wildlife corridors crossing the valley lost to intense development, a tragedy. We like to focus on the wins, like the 2019 cassowary sightings in our 2003 revegetation plot, then another further downstream, and another further downstream on the eastern side of the Bill Fulton Bridge, suggesting that the revegetation corridor that the Treeforce community has built is being used. This pure joy far outweighs the difficult.

With Mulgrave Landcare based in Gordonvale, the main engagement is with cane farmers and some of the best are on our committee, Tony and Chris Rossi. Of course, one of the best ways of engaging farmers is the influence of the farmers in the community who are leaders, shining examples of innovation and sustainable farming practices and who are vocal, and the Rossis meet all these criteria. We are very lucky to have them.

In the old days, yes, the past generations did what they were told (with a few exceptions) and cleared right up to the very edge of the creeks and rivers, but maybe it was because they could then see it from the tractor! What I know is that cane farmers love their creeks and rivers. They spend a lot of their time off there by the river, with family and friends, picnicking, fishing and swimming (before the crocs moved in).

One great example of different types of landholder engagement and cross farm landscape river restoration is along the Mulgrave River just upstream of the Aloomba Bends. Five landholders were involved one by one. The first one on the opposite side of the river to the others finally gave in to some tree planting after years of pestering. The then coordinator of Mulgrave Landcare, Bruce Corcoran, managed to get himself invited for morning tea at a property across the river and when it came to the point of asking about planting trees on the river the landholder repeatedly said no, no, no! He managed to get the landholder in the ute and we drove him to a previous revegetation site that our group had done, and by the time we dropped him off it was yes, yes, yes! The landholder next door to him looked over the fence and sheepishly joined the social tree planting and said “I’ll have what he’s having and a bit of rock work too if that’s possible.” Cairns River Improvement Trust came on board. The fourth landholder was a hobby farmer and said yes as long as you get rid of my Hymenachne, which we did, and the fifth across the river wanted rock work like the other and said “knock yourself out on that low-lying 2.3 ha over there.”

So, there you have it. In this case having a good name and being well respected in the community as well as persistence, having showcase sites, bartering, competition and a bit of charisma did not go astray.

This was just one of the many successful parts of a project funded by the wonderful Biodiversity Fund when community groups could apply for funding directly from the Federal government. Remember that?

With changes in funding to priority species or communities and then Carbon Credits, Reef Credits and the Land Restoration Fund, bigger and bigger areas of land are sought after focusing on carbon, high sediment and DIN (Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen) load areas, wetlands and co-benefits. Competition is rife and you start not seeing landholders as people but as trees or wetlands, just like people who work on weed control see weeds everywhere. It becomes an obsession. You can be at a field day or a conference or at the pub or a gathering and you stop your friend mid-sentence and suddenly cross the room to talk to that landholder whom you see as a prospective 10,000 trees planting.

Lenny's wetland

Lenny's wetland. Photo Peter Richard

You could be in a supermarket aisle and bang. . a wetland secured by persistence. This happened when Lynda met Lenny in the supermarket aisle at the IGA in Gordonvale. Lynda, our wonderful Mulgrave Landcare secretary had been asking Lenny landholder if he had any tree planting sites for years and half-heartedly asked again. Lenny replied “No Lynda” then “Hang on, I might have 8 ha but my brothers won’t like it, is that too big?” The committee visited the site thinking of trees but all immediately saw the wetland potential with all the biodiversity values to go with it.

Lenny planting at his wetland

Lenny planting at his wetland. Photo Campbell Clarke

We started planting trees with funding from the Biodiversity Fund but after that finished in 2016 the group was struggling for support. Luckily Greening Australia appeared on the scene looking for wetland sites for their Reef Aid project and we now have a partnership that draws philanthropic funding from companies like Sukin and Accor Hotels. We also have a constructed wetland and connecting corridors to Figtree Creek, over 10,000 trees on site and migratory birds visiting from Russia and Japan.

Lenny is one of those rare gems of a landholder who happens to be passionate about the Great Barrier Reef and he wants his grandchildren to experience it like he has. He has a sparkling personality, is a natural speaker and is camera ready. From the depths of Fishery Falls Lenny rises a star and through Mulgrave Landcare and Greening Australia, he advocates sustainable farming practices, has won many prestigious awards and a four-page spread in the Sydney Morning Herald and associated papers.

There are female landholders as well. On Figtree Creek, beautiful Mary would tackle the rough ground pushing her wheelie to join our group for a well deserved cold one after our tree plantings on her property. Landcare events are social and bring many different parts of the community together.

Meanwhile there is a buzzing in the air and another landholder from Deeral who is retired and has a passion for ultralight flying has been watching all the little ants planting trees at Lenny’s wetland. The wonderful Lynda I mentioned before, had been talking trees to this landholder for 10 years until he said yes to an initial 8.65 ha of trees and natural regeneration work. After seeing the trees growing well, he has now made 58 ha of land available for restoration. A beautiful wild property near the confluence of the Mulgrave and Russell Rivers.

So here are my tips for engaging landholders:

A lover of trees and a very wise man, Saeed De Ridder, once said to me and I will never forget it. . “Lisa always be very careful who you are in bed with” .. so above all, always use a personal approach and be ethical at all times.

My favourite saying is . . “The Green of the Forest is the Mind’s Best Light. .”

Lisa O’Mara is based in Cairns and Gordonvale and currently works as the Coordinator of Mulgrave Landcare and Project Officer for the Greening Australia Reef Aid Team.

Mulgrave Landcare is hosting a Qld Mental Health Week event on Sunday October 17, 3.30pm at the wetland just south of Fishery Falls. Activities will include tree planting, installing bird and possum nest boxes made by Mulgrave Landcare and the Gordonvale Men’s Shed, guest speakers, face painting for young and old and a BBQ provided by the Gordonvale Lions Club. For more information phone Lisa on 0435 016 906.

Mulgrave and Russell Rivers

Mulgrave and Russell Rivers, 58 ha circled. Photo Franco Arri

Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Restoration Symposium

Angela McCaffrey

This year marks the beginning of the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration which gave rise to the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) looking at where within the Wet Tropics region, Cooktown to Townsville, is the most active and most important area doing revegetation. The Southern Atherton Tablelands stands out with its high altitude refugia areas and fragmented pockets of rainforest, so it was decided that a symposium would be held to bring wider recognition, support and renewed interest in revegetation in the area most TREAT members call home.

The symposium was to be made up of two days, one would be a field trip looking at a variety of revegetation sites with different strategies and costs, the second would be a conference where several key stakeholders would talk about their projects.

The Field Day 13/09/2021

Around 50 people met at the TREAT nursery at 8.30am. Many took the opportunity to check out the nursery whilst others caught up with friends. We all registered and received a booklet of the planned activities, places of interest and mapping. By 9.15am we piled on to three mini buses followed by a convoy of cars setting out for our first stop, Freemans Forest NR.

Freemans Forest Nature Refuge

Once everyone had gathered around I took a few minutes to briefly explain the position of the site as the Lake Eacham end of the Peterson Creek Wildlife Corridor, the importance of the purchase of the site by the late Ian Freeman in 2010, his gift of the site to South Endeavour Trust following his passing in 2016 and the ongoing management of the site by TREAT and SET. I went on to explain the typical revegetation methods used by TREAT including blanket spraying herbicide for site preparation, hole digging with an auger, spacing of trees at 1.7m to 1.8m apart using 3,000 to 3,500 trees per hectare, and planting by volunteers in the wet season followed by three years of intensive weed control until the trees reached canopy closure. This style of revegetation typically costs TREAT around $20,000 per ha (plus volunteer labour) plus trees which we grow ourselves which value at around $10,000 per ha. Most high biodiversity plantings cost between $30k and $40k per ha but the results are fast and usable by wildlife within three years. I advised what to look out for as we began walking through the plantings starting with the 2017 ‘carbon project’. We looked at the structure of the canopy, the growth of the trees, the open friable structure of the soil, the leaf litter and woody debris creating habitat for invertebrates and fungi, the natural recruitment of seedlings from planted and non-planted species as well as small patches of weak weeds where the canopy was still letting light in. We continued past the 2011 first planting where Peter Snodgrass took over the commentary to explain the challenges and thought processes of how and where to start revegetating the site; the trees, now tall, have taken on most of the characteristics of natural forest. Lastly we looked at the 2013 area where weed matting had been used around each of 6,000 trees. This was supposed to biodegrade in 2 years but was still very visible eight years later. We hurried back to the vehicles to go to the next site. .

Thiaki Creek Nature Refuge

After about 30 mins driving we reached the property of Dr Noel Preece and Dr Penny van Oosterzee on Upper Barron Road. Noel and Penny have conducted extensive revegetation under experimental conditions to investigate ways of doing larger, landscape scale revegetation for lower costs. Three experiments were established in 2010, 2011 and 2013 to examine different approaches to reforestation. Ninety plots including some unplanted control plots, over thirty hectares were planted at differing levels of diversity and density. Some were monocultures, some six species and some 24 species, some at 3m spacing and some at 1.75m. All were on steep slopes so grass strips were left to help avoid erosion. (A detailed article on this project is in the July-Sept 2009 TREAT newsletter available on TREAT’s website.) Costings vary depending on spacing but can be as low as $5,000 to $10,000 per hectare but with much slower outcomes than the traditional method.

Noel described the experiments and then led the way to a vantage point where we could look down on several of the plots. Some had grown really well, mainly where more species and closer spacing were used and there was natural recruitment such as Alphitonias. Noel went on to tell us about one unusual finding in a monoculture plot of Flindersia brayleana where trees in the lowest section of the plot had grown well but as soon as one looked at trees higher in the plot one could easily see the trees were very small and spindly. This turned out to be phosphorus deficiency which whilst present in the soil was not available for the trees to take up. Comparing this with Cardwellia sublimis which have cluster roots, they had no problems unlocking the phosphorus in the soil and so grew strongly regardless of slope. Overall the experiments have contributed to some important findings some of which have provided better Australian models of carbon sequestration in the tropics.

We headed to Tarzali Park where a fabulous buffet lunch had been set out for us.

From Tarzali we drove to our final property for the day, Cloudland NR.

Cloudland Nature Refuge

The buses had a bit of a challenge reaching Cloudland NR up the slippery Seamark Road but we all got there and walked down to the house. At the house Kylie Freebody and Carla Catterall talked about the kickstart trials, an idea originally conceived by the late Dave Hudson who until his passing this year was the landholder of Cloudland with his wife Robyn Land. The trials began in 2011. Now for any TREAT members this seemed like a bit of déjà vu because we had a field day at Cloudland in July, but it is always a pleasure to see this fantastic site and this time we studied the western plots (as opposed to the eastern ones on the TREAT field day). We split into two groups led by Kylie and Carla; I was in Kylie’s group and we headed down from the back of the house through the tall, strong trees planted in 2006. Once at the kickstart sites Kylie explained the process of kick starting the pasture grasses and weeds back to rainforest by first blanket spraying all non-native vegetation with glyphosate in 2011 followed by seven sprays between 2011 and 2018 mainly with a grass specific herbicide (Verdict). This allowed a canopy of non-native woody weeds mainly Wild Tobacco to establish, under which native seedlings could germinate and grow. Several other experiments were undertaken during this same period, with bird perches and water troughs introduced to encourage fruit eating birds to rest and deposit seed into the treated areas, and some restrictions on pademelons browsing on seedlings. A larger area became the expanded kickstart trails in 2018-2019 with more areas sprayed and some ‘tree islands’ planted. These trials are still ongoing but have produced very encouraging results at low costs. See TREAT’s newsletter Jan-Mar 2018 Wet Season for a detailed article.

Once again the buses struggled to get up the muddy slopes but eventually we all got back to the nursery to pick up our cars.

Many of us went on to a welcome to country and smoking ceremony which was thought provoking and really interesting, held at the Tinaroo Lake Resort before a beautifully presented dinner.

This was the end of a very useful day in which many ideas were canvassed.

WTMA's Landscape Restoration Symposium - Day 2

Barb Lanskey

Day 2 of the Wet Tropics Management Authority's symposium was held at Lake Tinaroo Resort and about 100 people attended. There were 4 sessions and 4-5 talks during each session. The breaks between sessions allowed for morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea which were well catered for by the resort. Only 2 of the talks were shown by a video link on the big screens as those speakers couldn't attend. Most talks included photos/video for illustration. There were different Chairs running each session and the day started about 8.30am (after registrations) and ended at 5pm. I picked a good seat at one of the tables to have a clear view of the speakers and screens. A few questions were taken following each talk.

The first session focused on the theory and practice of Restoration. We heard firstly from Traditional Owners, then from Kylie Freebody about the Kickstart Trials, from Geoff Onus about different restoration approaches and outcomes, from Noel Preece about planting for carbon credits and from Amanda Freeman about how birds use restoration plantings.

The second session's first 2 talks were about projects on the coastal lowlands. Dennis Ah-kee and Liz Owen from Jaragun Ecoservices, spoke on conservation in the Russel River Catchment and Lisa O'Mara from Mulgrave Landcare, spoke about engaging landowners in conservation work. Angela and Cath Moran then talked about TREAT's pilot carbon project at Freemans Forest NR and cost outcomes. This was followed by a video from Rainforest Rescue, on buying back blocks of land in the Daintree area to protect and rehabilitate them.

After lunch, Tim Hughes spoke about South Endeavour Trust, Travis Sydes and Tony O'Malley talked about Terrain's Decision Support Tool, there was a video from Queensland Trust for Nature about their partnerships, and then Alex Lindsay talked about Farm Forestry.

For the last session, Mike Berwick from GreenCollar, spoke about carbon farming, Bronwyn Robertson (Terrain) about Cassowary Credits, Carla Catterall about impacts of clearing forests and approaches for restoration, and lastly, Leslie Shirreffs, the current (but outgoing) Chair of WTMA, spoke about future partnerships and the creation of a Wet Tropics Restoration Alliance.

To concentrate on the proceedings, I made only a few notes - we'd been given a schedule for the day with some details of the talks mentioned above. (I hadn't just remembered them.)

The presentations were interesting throughout, and WTMA deserves full congratulations for a well organised day, bringing together so many participants in nature conservation and restoration at the beginning of the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration.

2021 AGM Report

Barb Lanskey

TREAT's 39th Annual General Meeting held in the Yungaburra Community Hall at 7.30pm on 10th September went as smoothly as ever. Twenty-nine people came along and there were 5 apologies. It was lovely to see Barry and Jan Thurling there again (Barry has missed only one AGM - when he had a car accident on his way to the AGM a few years ago) and it was also nice to see some new faces who had recently become TREAT members.

Peter Snodgrass presented the Nursery Report with various illustration slides and production and distribution figures. Mandy had copies of her Treasurer's Report and read out some of those figures which were noteworthy. TREAT has healthy balances in its general account and the EBF. Mandy pointed out that she has created a new petty cash account with a debit card to be operated by her and Linda who has a lot of small expenses regarding the Friday morning teas. Angela read out her President's Report which was received with acclamation.

All committee positions were then declared vacant and Michael Cole-King was invited to chair the election of office bearers for the next year. As a list of all the nominees and positions had been on display at the nursery for the previous 2 weeks and as all positions were filled, with no excess nominees or opposition, Michael read out the committee members for the coming year:

There is one change from last year as Andrew Brooks moved to Brisbane and has been replaced by Rob Bogart.

There was no business raised in the General Meeting which follows the AGM.

Angela then introduced our guest speaker Peter Rowles who kept us engaged and interested with facts and slides about plantings on the coastal lowlands done by the Mission Beach nursery, C4 (Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation). There are many differences in approach and execution. Hopefully we can arrange a future field day to see some of the work down there.

Supper was held and the last of us left at 10pm.

President's Report 2021

Angela McCaffrey

At this time last year we were 6 months into the pandemic and trying to figure out how it would affect TREAT in the future.

Now another 12 months on we are still living with Covid19 but it has been a relatively easy ride for Far North Queensland compared with most of the rest of Australia and especially the rest of the world. We are grateful that we can live an unrestricted life and work at the nursery with only a few minor regulations regarding sanitising, signing on and social distancing. I hope nobody gets complacent about these measures.

Looking back at the last 12 months, staffing at the nursery has changed again. Nick Stevens, Ranger in Charge, continues to have ongoing health problems and is still on long term leave. Peter Snodgrass is still temporary Ranger in Charge. Simon Brown went into Peter’s position but has recently moved back to the Lake Eacham Management Unit, Emily Bodenmann was on a temporary contract and has since recently left but now comes to TREAT as a volunteer. The 004 Ranger’s position is now taken by Glen McLauchlan and the 003 position is currently taken by Themi Graham both of whom have fitted in to nursery work like ducks to water.

On behalf of all members we continue to wish Nick a speedy recovery and a return to full health.

Following from the last AGM:

In November we were able to hold our usual workshops although numbers were restricted. One at the nursery on Tree Identity and Propagation led by Dinah Hansmann and Peter Snodgrass and the other at Freemans Forest NR on Site Preparation, Planting Techniques and Maintenance, led by Mark McCaffrey, Peter Snodgrass and myself. Both workshops were organised and catered for by Barbara Lanskey, Trish Forsyth and myself. Thanks to all concerned.

Next came the planting season coinciding with the wet season January to April:

  • 1,200 trees were planted at Bonadio’s property at Barron River, Atherton
  • 3,700 trees were planted over 2 events at the McLean Ridge property for TREAT at Lake Eacham
  • 4,500 trees were planted over 2 events on Emms’ property at Lake Barrine
  • 2,000 trees were planted at Massey Creek for QPWS
  • 2,500 trees were planted at Jenkins’ property at Beatrice River, Millaa Millaa
  • 1,700 trees were planted at Donaghy’s property for TREAT at Lake Eacham
  • A further 10,000 trees were planted at Misty Mountain NR for SET at East Evelyn over four events.

This gives a total of 25,600 trees planted in 12 community planting events where 1,239 hours were worked by volunteer planters. Out of these a total of 11,815 trees came from the TREAT nursery with the remainder coming from TRC, Emms, NQLMS and Jenkins nurseries. Thank you to everyone involved in making these happen.

The two BBQ teams put on fabulous food at each event in their usual well managed and professional way.

Tracks at McLean Ridge continue to be slashed by Rob Strachan whom we thank for keeping easy access to our plantings.

Members continued to access trees for their own projects and a total of 8,728 went to these projects.

Millaa Millaa State School planted a butterfly garden with the help of TREAT, teachers, parents and children.

Millaa Millaa Garden Club expanded the rainforest margins in the Lions Park with help from TREAT and TRC nursery who provided the trees.

Field Days during winter:

We held a field day at Michael and Jo-anne Hoare’s property on Peterson Creek in June looking at the plantings which were done in 2018. Funding continues for these for the next couple of months for additional maintenance but generally they were looking extremely good and have become an important part of the Peterson Creek Corridor.

In July we held a field day at Cloudland NR owned by Robyn Land and the late Dave Hudson, looking at the ever changing Kickstart Trials with Prof Carla Catterall and Kylie Freebody. These trials show how rainforest can be regenerated with limited intervention and were the brain child of Dave Hudson. This field day was also a celebration of Dave’s incredible life dedicated to conservation.

In August we held a field day at Don Crawford’s property, Maroobi Park NR. Don and his late wife Jill, planted thousands of trees on their property, alongside Maroobi Creek, from 2004 onwards. Don led everyone around the plantings including the earlier ‘Lakes Corridor’ whilst providing heaps of information about the revegetation. The corridor has since been enhanced by TREAT’s work on McLean Ridge and on Donaghy’s to create an extensive wildlife corridor between Lakes Barrine and Eacham.

TREAT continues to have regular contact with Tablelands Regional Council through their Natural Assets Management Network, also with the Cassowary Recovery Team, the Spectacled Flying Fox Recovery Team and the Mabi Forest Recovery Group.

TREAT held market stalls at Yungaburra Markets on at least 6 occasions with great input by Trish and Andrew Forsyth, Shirley Prout and Michael Cole-King. These provided a much needed point for TREAT to reach out and improve community awareness. Yungaburra Butchers added to this by providing sausage sizzles for community groups and ours were organised by Elizabeth Hamilton-Shaw. TREAT was given a free stall at the large agricultural Rotary FNQ Field Days, held biannually at Mareeba. This was quite a feat as it is held over three days requiring many volunteers and much coordination. A series of new posters were commissioned and producing these alone took great effort. Thanks go to Mandy Bormolini who undertook these tasks and to all the volunteers involved.

More measures in promotion include our ongoing presence on Facebook by Simon Burchill, our new Instagram account managed by Emily Bodenmann, articles in What’s on and Where to Go and in the Express by Dinah Hansmann.

In an effort to appeal to the next generation, Trish and Andrew did a meet and greet stall at Malanda State School, and only this morning, with help from Barbara Lanskey and Maria Gillanders, held potting up lessons for the under eights also at Malanda State School.

Despite these efforts, membership hovers just below 400 and we rarely go back above that limit. As new members sign up others drop away.

At the nursery, Friday mornings continue to be extremely well attended and active. Morning tea is still a buzz of conversation around a fantastic spread with regular contributions from Linda, Cheryl, Elizabeth and Betty amongst others. One disruption was when the kitchen was flooded and most of the units had to be replaced. We took the opportunity to refit the whole kitchen creating heaps more space to work.

The Display Centre has had a few stops and starts due to Covid but, when open, receives interested visitors and we are in the process of upgrading the information packs that can be given out there and at the markets.

The excellent and dedicated committee continue to keep TREAT moving along with all the hard work done by Doug Burchill as secretary, Mandy Bormolini as treasurer, John Hardman as vice president and committee members: Barbara Lanskey, Trish Forsyth, Simon Burchill, Dinah Hansmann, Carey Robinson, Dave Skelton, Irene Gorman and Andrew Brooks who moved to Brisbane during the year. Between them they cover the tasks of membership, education, data bases, weed information, website updating, monitoring planted sites, display centre staffing, newsletter editing, media writing and tree application and allocation to members. Thank you for all the hard work and support throughout the last 12 months.

Ending on a happy note, TREAT has its 40th anniversary next year and we will have a big party to celebrate. I hope you can all celebrate with us.

Nursery News

Peter Snodgrass

We’ve had a very mild winter on the Atherton Tablelands for two years running and now, albeit a little late, it feels as though spring has finally arrived with warmer weather upon us. Conditions have been favourable so far for revegetation sites established earlier this year, so I hope trees are growing well for everyone and your plans for the coming year are in place.

Nick Stevens’ leave has been further extended through to late November at this stage so secondment arrangements continue for staff in the nursery. Glen McLauchlan is currently backfilling my position and Themi Graham has replaced Simon Brown in the staff rotation position. Both Glen and Themi have been doing a great job for us in the nursery and in the field. These arrangements will continue at least until late November.

The ‘Reef Assist’ team have been doing some great revegetation work around the tablelands guided by NQLMS with Rosco Devine leading the team. The Misty Mountain, Dirrans End and Barrine Park Nature Refuges have received a lot of attention this year from the team, as outlined in the Jan-Mar 2021 TREAT newsletter. They have also been assisting QPWS with weed control efforts in the Curtain Fig National Park, in Wongabel State Forest and in site maintenance of the Massey Creek section of the Tully Gorge National Park. With their regular assistance we are also catching up on some lagging nursery upgrade works such as retaining walls and pathways, revegetation adjacent to the new nursery storage shed, and hopefully some more finishing touches in that area, before their program finishes up later this year. I believe employment will continue for most, if not all, of the Reef Assist team but regardless I know we would all like to thank them for the huge effort they have all put in and to wish them the very best for the future. I sincerely hope we will see them all continue their efforts in the same circles.

Early next year will be TREAT’s 40th anniversary so I would like to invite people to contribute to a commemorative portfolio by providing ideas, copies of old relevant documents, newspaper articles and any photographs of early TREAT revegetation sites. Accordingly pictures and timelines of revegetation on your respective properties, planted with or without TREAT assistance, with plants produced in the Lake Eacham Nursery by TREAT and QPWS, or plants grown at home or elsewhere. In the year of its inception, 1982 (Year of the Tree), &ldquoTREAT planted 2,755 trees that were grown by members in their own gardens” (Joan Wright).

For those who have not read Joan Wright’s book, TREAT – Community Rainforest Renewal – “The Initial Years”, it is still available through TREAT. In this book Joan reminds us of that time on the Tablelands post extensive clearing for agriculture that depleted soils once rich with organic matter left by the rainforest. The absence of that rainforest left the basalt soils vulnerable to erosion during the wet season. A time when exotic trees like Pinus caribbea and Eucalyptus microcorys were grown by forestry at Danbulla that were intended for windbreaks and farm forestry. They were the only trees available in quantity at a reasonable price. Joan tells us “When Geoff Tracey came to work at the CSIRO in Atherton in the early 1980s, he was struck by the absence of native trees in the plantations on private land. The beautiful, productive forest trees were not used in farm plantings, because none were available. Geoff and I realised that indigenous trees could be grown, and that this reliance on exotic tree species could be replaced by growing native trees."

As Nigel Tucker wrote in the Foreword to Joan’s book, “Vision and commitment have been the hallmarks of TREAT since its inception” and with Joan Wright, Geoff Tracey and Tony Irvine, the legacy of their inspiration has seen TREAT become one of the most outstanding community groups for nature conservation in the country.

So as a tribute to TREAT I would like your assistance in gathering evidence of what three highly dedicated conservationists inspired. If you are unable to provide us with photos of your patch of revegetation then where possible, and if you will permit me, I would like to visit some of your properties to take some current photos. It would be great to see some of those TREAT plantings from the early 1980s and photos of native fauna utilising those areas would be extremely welcome.

We may not be able to visit everyone’s property but we will do our best and would love to hear from you, gather your stories and discuss visiting your part of the historical TREAT timeline. Thank You.

Fruit Collection Diary July- September 2021

SpeciesCommon NameRegional EcosystemCollection Dates
Ackama australiensisFeather-top7.8.215/7/2021
Acronychia aberransAcid Berry7.8.229/7/2021
Acronychia acidulaLemon Aspen7.8.4, 7.8.221/07, 11/08, 12/08/2021
Acronychia acronychioidesWhite Aspen7.8.27/9/2021
Acronychia laevisGlossy Acronychia7.8.418/8/2021
Acronychia vestitaWhite Aspen7.8.4, 7.8.229/07, 26/08, 16/09/2021
Aleurites rockinghamensisCandlenut7.8.32/9/2021
Alphitonia whiteiRed Ash7.8.221/7/2021
Alpinia caeruleaCommon Ginger7.8.32/9/2021
Arytera divaricartaRose Tamarind7.8.227/9/2021
Auranticarpa papyraceaGreen Paperbark7.8.25/8/2021
Buckinghamia celsissimaIvory Curl Tree7.8.227/9/2021
Callitris macleayanaCypress Pine7.8.27/7/2021
Cananga odorataYlang Ylang7.8.115/7/2021
Castanospermum australeBlack Bean7.8.27/9/2021
Ceratopetalum virchowiiPink Sycamore7.8.216/9/2021
Chionanthus ramiflorusNative Olive7.8.39/9/2021
Cryptocarya mackinnoniana Mckinnons Laurel7.3.1029/07, 18/08/2021
Cryptocarya oblataTarzali Silkwood7.8.2, 7.8.48/07, 12/09, 16/09/2021
Cryptocarya onoprienkoanaSouthern Maple7.12.1611/8/2021
Cupaniopsis dallachyi 7.8.25/8/2021
Dysoxylum rufumHairy Rosewood7.8.211/08, 26/08/2021
Elaeocarpus angustifoliusBlue Quandong7.8.217/9/2021
Elaeocarpus foveolatusNorthern Quandong7.8.216/9/2021
Elaeocarpus ruminatusBrown Quandong7.8.48/9/2021
Endiandra montanaMontana Walnut7.8.227/9/2021
Ficus destruensBoonjee Fig7.8.223/9/2021
Ficus crassipesBanana Fig7.8.27/9/2021
Harpullia pendulaTulipwood7.8.2, 7.8.32/09, 27/09/2021
Harpullia ramifloraCape York Tulipwood7.8.130/8/2021
Helicia nortonianaNorton's Oak7.8.215/07, 5/08/2021
Hicksbeachia pilosaRed Bauple Nut7.8.230/07, 26/08/2021
Hodgkinsonia frutescensTurkey Bush7.8.37/07, 26/08, 2/09/2021
Lepidozamia hopeiZamia Palm7.3.1014/8/2021
Mackinlaya macrosciadeaBlue Umbrella7.8.27/9/2021
Melicope xanthoxyloidesYellow Evodia7.8.28/07, 21/07, 5/08, 23/09/2021
Mischocarpus exangulatusRed Bell Mischocarp7.8.2, 7.3.1015/07, 14/08/2021
Mischocarpus macrocarpusLarge-fruited Mischocarp7.8.218/8/2021
Neolitsea dealbataWhite Bollywood7.8.229/07, 18/08/2021
Pittosporum ferrugineumRusty Pittosporum7.8.215/07, 11/08/2021
Podocarpus dispermusBrown Pine7.8.213/08, 18/08, 7/09/2021
Polyscias elegansCelerywood7.8.22/09, 7/09/2021
Prumnopitys amaraBlack Pine7.8.422/9/2021
Pullea stutzeriHard Alder7.8.215/07, 12/08, 23/09/2021
Rhysotoechia mortoniana 7.8.210/9/2021
Sarcomelicope simplicifoliaYellow Aspen7.8.223/09, 27/09/2021
Sarcotoechia lanceolataTopaz Tamarind7.8.212/8/2021
Syzygium alliiligneumMission Beach Satinash7.3.1015/7/2021
Syzygium gustavioidesGrey Satinash7.8.28/07, 21/07, 12/08, 19/08, 12/09/2021
Syzygium kurandaKuranda Satinash7.8.27/9/2021
Syzygium unipunctatumRolypoly Satinash7.8.227/9/2021
Ternstroemia cherryiCherry Beech7.8.422/9/2021
Xanthostemon chrysanthusGolden Penda7.8.27/9/2021

Species and Common names taken from 'Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants Edition 8' online key:


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