Learning about farm paddock trees on French Island

14 June 2017

Farm paddock trees are an iconic image across our rural landscape, however many paddock trees are reaching senescence and there is very little recruitment of new trees. Grazing pressures, nutrient build up, soil compaction, insect attack and ring barking by livestock are leading to their premature mortality.

If something isn’t done now to reverse this loss research shows that most paddock trees will be lost in the next 50 years.

On Sunday 11 June 2017, 15 people took part in a trial on a property on French Island to promote the germination of farm paddock trees.

They experimented with two different trial methods used to promote germination of soil-stored tree seed, these methods include scraping and dense planting of black wattles.

Guest speaker Gidja Walker demonstrated how indigenous species have seeds that persist in the soil for decades. Black Wattle grow fast and rapidly colonise disturbed land and fix nitrogen in the soil.

Farmers attending the event have increased skills and knowledge to trial these methods on their own farms, ensuring the survival of paddock trees and maintaing productive farms through quality shade and shelter for livestock.

This event was part of the Sustainable Agriculture project. The project is supported by the PPWCMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. For more information contact Sarah Halligan on 03 8781 7900.