From little things big paddock trees grow

Friday 21 February, 2020
A small amount of effort can provide huge benefits when it comes to protecting paddock trees now and for the future.

“Many of our large paddock trees are dying and not being replaced, leaving large gaps in the agricultural landscape,” Goulburn Broken CMA’s Janice Mentiplay-Smith said. 

“Last year we celebrated the ‘Year of the Paddock Tree’ to highlight the importance of paddock trees for livestock as well as for native birds, insects and animals.” 

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said many landholders revegetated sites to provide links to existing remnant vegetation. 

“This is terrific but we do recognise that sometimes establishing large corridors of vegetation is not possible. Small ‘islands’ or ‘stepping stones’ such as trees dotted across a paddock are just as important for native animals as well as for providing shade and shelter for stock. One of the simplest and cheapest ways to maintain paddock trees for benefit of the farm and the environment is to protect the naturally regenerating native trees in the paddock with purpose-built tree guards. Seedlings that germinate on their own are extremely hardy, and the purpose of the tree guard project is to protect these tough individuals, rather than landholders planting and subsequently having to water seedlings. 

Through the Linking Landscapes project Goulburn Broken CMA can provide landholders with guards. 

The guards are fabricated to withstand pressure from cattle and sheep.  Each guard requires four steel pickets to ensure it remains in place.  Placed around an emerging seedling in the paddock, it can remain until the tree is strong enough to withstand stock pressure, and the guard can be relocated to protect another emerging tree.   

The Linking Landscapes is supported through the Goulburn Broken CMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. The project aims to protect grey box woodlands across the catchment and create linkages to connect remnant vegetation for the movement of birds, animals and insects. 

For more information about receiving paddock tree guards through the Linking Landscapes project, please contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5764 7506.