We aim to have high survival rate for our seedlings, so that we
won't have to repeat the planting work.
At Mt Best young plants need to be protected from wallabies, wombats,
rabbits and other animals who love to eat them. One of the methods
to achieve this is using tree guards.
However, typical tree guards supported on thin bamboo stakes rattle
and fly away with strong winds that are very frequent here.
Our remedy is depicted in the picture on the right. The top triangular
spreader is made of 3 pieces of thin bamboo and 3 simple loops
of wire that go inside the bamboo.
It takes only 30 seconds more to install the top spreader. Much
more laborious is manufacturing the necessary bits.
Research indicates that in order to improve the survival rate
of planted trees it is necessary to reduce growth of weeds and
grass around them.
In preparation for planting we dug away a grass patch for each
tree and used 100% cotton fabric offcuts as weed mats. Each weed
mat gently smells dog poo and diesel fuel to discourage animals
from exploring and eating the young plant inside the guard.
Top bamboo spreaders make a standard tree guard
Above techniques allowed us to achieve about
97% survival rate for trees planted in January - the worst possible
planting time in Australia.
We hope that our planting techniques will enable us to keep planting
trees all year round, weather permitting of course.