Woodland Stepping Stones

Re-introducing Paddock Trees into farms

Making a Difference -

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Woodland Stepping Stones

Re-introducing Paddock Trees into farms

The issue

Scattered paddock trees are disappearing from our landscape.  Many are more than 100 years old and when they die, they aren’t being replaced. The value of paddock trees is considerable and their decline has been identified as a significant threat to woodland habitats as they provide shelter, food and nesting sites for birds, bats, insects and mammals. Paddock trees are also valuable for agricultural productivity by playing a crucial role in managing salinity, improving soil properties and providing shelter for stock.

The solution

Mid Lachlan Landcare and the Cowra Woodland Birds Program have recruited local landholders to come to the rescue through a ‘Paddock Tree partnership.

Through the Paddock Tree Project, Mid Lachlan Landcare has been supplying mesh and posts for tree guards to participating landholders, to help ensure the newly planted seedlings have the best chance of survival. The guards are heavy duty which is critical for the seedlings survival in grazing paddocks.

An added bonus to the project is that the guards are re-usable, so once the trees have matured enough to withstand grazing pressure the guards can be removed and new trees established.

The impact

Paddock trees are considered to be keystone structures because their benefits are believed to be disproportionate to the small area they occupy.

Through this project, which was expanded due to the large amount of interest, we have been able to plant almost 500 new paddock trees around the Cowra area. The trees have been strategically planted to provide stepping stones from a remnant woodland patch through to an existing paddock tree or from one existing paddock tree to another.

Images

 

Key facts

  • 500 new trees planted
  • guard material used - 75 x 75 x 4mm - 1650mm height plus 3 star pickets
  • guards are re-usable

Project Partners