Establishing native vegetation?

Protecting natural regrowth

Tablelands Telegraph - July 2021

Bruce Christie, Senior Land Services Officer

What’s the best way to establish native vegetation?  Opportunistic protection of regrowth is a valuable strategy for the establishment of native vegetation across landscapes.

Land managers have recently reported an abundance of natural regeneration of native trees and shrubs, possibly a direct response from the low groundcover from the drought and then the recent above average rainfall.

With stock pressure also being reduced these areas have had the perfect conditions for the germination and growth of trees and shrubs. This has given land managers a once in a decade opportunity to protect regrowth, allow damaged ecosystems to bounce back and save the costs of other forms of establishing vegetation.

Strategies to protect and enhance this regrowth could be:

  • Continue with lenient grazing while these trees establish. This may not mean total exclusion but giving the areas adequate rest for the trees to establish to a height that they can survive normal grazing.
  • Fence off small areas with electric fencing to keep stock out while they establish or even consider permanent fencing to allow for the development of a mid-story and ground cover layer. This will provide valuable habitat for small bird and insects supercharging the ecosystem into recovery.
  • Use individual tree guards. These may be kept in place for a few years and then relocated to other areas.  You may choose to keep them in the same area and plant other species to increase the diversity of the plants in the area.

Whatever strategy you use, you know that the trees that you have protected are endemic to your property, will often outperform planted trees, will provide habitat for native animals and future proof your property for shade and shelter for your stock

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