The enthusiastic Landcarers at Myrtlewood Pastoral were thrilled to be awarded a grant from Landcare Tasmania and 15 Trees in 2020, to assist them in realising their revegetation dreams for their farm, Myrtlewood.
The Planting Journey
Image: The Shelterbelt site prior to planting
On the 13th August 2021, we travelled up to Liffey to collect our magnificent plants which had been beautifully propagated by Herbert and Sally Staubmann of Habitat Plants. We had had a site visit from Herbert many months prior where we explained our vision for a shelterbelt incorporating an area of salinity and the rehabilitation of an old Department of Main Roads quarry site where we have built a new dwelling, both sites being located at Myrtlewood, about 550 metres apart, but with very different conditions and soil types. Based on the site restrictions, Herbert recommended a range of endemic species to enhance the biodiversity and provide protection for livestock and pasture in the proposed shelterbelt, with a slightly different selection for the quarry site.
The trees, shrubs and grasses were planted over a 2-month period as time and labour allowed. This coincided with a very busy time on the farm of lambing, shearing, crutching and lamb marking so the plants were not all planted as soon as we would have liked. They were however, lovingly cared for by our youngest daughter, an Agricultural Science student, in her glasshouse as they waited to be planted out. It was a great relief to have them all in the ground by late October, with a wet spring being to our advantage for planting conditions.
Image: The initial planting using recycled corflute guards and stakes
Prior to the plants going into the ground, the shelterbelt site was laid out with fencing to restrict livestock and browsers from consuming the plants. Lines were ripped to allow ease of planting and good establishment of the plants. We hoped to recycle as many older corflute tree guards and wooden stakes as we could for the initial planting in the shelterbelt and this was carried out with the assistance of 5 enthusiastic VET Agriculture students from Campbell District High School on the 1st September. Unfortunately, we ran out of tree guards and stakes on the day and did not get in as many as we could have, but it was certainly a great start to the planting program.
Image: Campbell Town VET Agriculture students were very enthusiastic!
The second major planting saw us complete this shelter belt using family labour on the shelterbelt site. With plenty of new corflute plant guards and strong new stakes, we managed to complete the planting of 330 trees and shrubs on the 10th October.
Image: Part 2 of the shelterbelt planting
Image: A beautiful day for a successful completion of planting the shelterbelt
Following this, our attention turned to the quarry site. Part of this site is irrigated with grey water from the new build so this was the site we felt could probably be planted out last.
Image: The big mound showing soil types and weeds
We did not anticipate the previous 24 hours with approximately 50mm of rain falling, making it very boggy and unusually wet for our planting day!
Image: Very wet conditions for planting out the lines but easy to put in the stakes!
Again, with family labour, we managed to get about 210 plants planted in the various locations around the quarry on the 24th October, ranging from a woolly tea tree covered bank to a 50m long and 3m tall mound of excavated rock and soil. There are many challenges to this site, due to the soil type and quality and topography. Part of the paddock was ripped while other locations this was not possible. We have kept approximately 20 plants to be planted close to the new dwelling once topsoil and mulch have been applied in the next week or so.
We are very excited about our new plants and will endeavour to maintain them with regular watering and weed eradication, particularly in this first couple of years while they become established. We are very appreciative of both Landcare and Fifteen Trees in assisting us with the ongoing revegetation projects at Myrtlewood in 2021 and beyond.
-Madeleine, Andrew, Matilda and Charlotte
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