Assisting regrowth of Greybox trees in Strathtulloh Woodland

Bronwyn, Evelyn & Annabelle with painted stake

In May 2017 about 20 Greybox saplings in Strathtulloh Woodland (beside Toolern Creek) were recently marked with brightly painted stakes by Daryl,

Bronwyn, Evelyn & Annbelle of MEG. The red painted stakes will mark the saplings so that mowers can see where the tiny trees are & avoid them,

allowing them to grow into trees.

Strathtulloh is a remnant Greybox Grassy Woodland that has been degraded over many decades of heavy grazing.

Since grazing was discontinued Greybox seedlings are continuing to appear among the mature trees so the woodland is

constantly trying to return. Unfortunately regular mowing operations to reduce fire danger were continually mowing down these small trees,

reducing them to ground covers.

Newly staked Greybox saplings

Since we began marking these with painted stakes these are now beginning to grow taller. Some of these are now about a metre in height.

In a few years these should become trees several metres in height, enabling the woodland to return!

There are also a large number of new Greybox seedlings appearing, about 4cm in height. These are possibly due to our recent warm &

wet autumn. Hopefully these can also be protected so that some of them may grow into mature Greybox trees over the coming years.

Many thanks are due to the mower drivers who avoid the stakes when mowing, thereby assisting the woodland to return.

Both MEG & City of Melton are keen to ensure that the endangered Grassy Woodland is protected, along with its vulnerable woodland

bird species (especially the endangered Diamond Firetails, & the vulnerable Jacky Winters & Brown Treecreepers).

Greybox sapling protected by stake in 2012 (five years ago)

Several ‘islands’ have been created to save the tree saplings contained within. Creation of ‘islands’ containing tree saplings should ensure

that future mowing operations will not mow down the hundreds of juvenile regenerating Grey Box trees. This should ensure that the

endangered Grassy Woodland is better protected, along with its vulnerable woodland bird species. More such ‘islands’ will follow,

hopefully ensuring the long term survival of the woodland.

 

We were pleased in 2014 to see that current mowing operations now allow the many regenerating Grey Box trees to grow uncut.

In 2013 MEG placed bright orange stakes beside the tree saplings in danger of being mowed. Islands were created containing these

saplings to protect them, to allow the Grey Box Grassy Woodland to regenerate. These habitat enhancement measures in this threatened

Grassy Woodland remnant should ensure that its equally vulnerable birdlife is also protected.

 

We were pleased to see that the tiny Grey Box seedlings beside which MEG placed brightly painted stakes last winter have been spared by

grass slashing operations. Although still small some are almost half a meter tall. The tree seedlings previously cut by slashing operations are

now regenerating. With winter rains they should show vigorous growth, creating better habitat for our vulnerable & declining woodland birds.

Strathtulloh Woodland with staked Greybox saplings

Fantailed Cuckoo in Strathtulloh Woodland

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