Bridal Creeper on Death Row! Hope So.

We have begun to fightback with the information and expertise gained from Kayla Ringrose from Southern Dirt inDSC00740 Kojonup.   We are using a combination approach with both the recommended chemical application away from the waterways and spore water near the Tone River, Cockatoo Creek and Muir’s Brook (waterways on the property).

Bridal creeper has the relatively unusual ability to invade undisturbed native bushland. Dispersal of seeds by native birds enables it to reach remote and inaccessible places. Once established, the stems and foliage smother native seedlings and understorey plants, and the aggressive tuberous root system forms dense, impenetrable mats, inhibiting the establishment of native trees and shrubs. Underground tuber reserves enable the plant to survive unfavourable conditions for many years, while fragments of underground rhizomes can be spread inadvertently in soil or mulch to begin new infestations.

Bridal CreeDSC00738per is on WONS (Weeds of National Significance) one of the worst environmental weeds, posing a serious threat to our biodiversity. If you have some please consider taking up the challenge to get rid of it. Plenty of great info online to help you.

These photos were taken on a recent trip to the farm on November 27th. You can see some progress however we are well aware this will take maybe years to control. We are lucky that spore infected plants are already on the property so we did not have to search!

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Southern Dirt/State NRM Project

Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

via Southern Dirt/State NRM Project.

10.5 months later – amazing!

We have just returned from the farm and are amazed by the growth and health of the plants. We have had a long hot summer and they are thriving. The summer has officially ended, although we have had no rain. The days are a little cooler, early to mid 20’s and the nights around 10. It is a loverly time at the farm before the business of planting this seasons crops.

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The plant is nearly as tall as Jorn!

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Jezabelle supervising us as usual

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a few of our thriving plants

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Along one of the rows to give you an idea

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Jorn swimming in a spring fed pool in Cockatoo Creek, the water is beautiful, clear and drinkable.

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a few more rows to give you an idea of the scope of the project

Video

Growing growing growing

Jorn has just returned from the farm. He decided to take a short video showing how well our plants are going. It is very exciting watching them thrive. Jorn has just returned, the new project underway at the farm it to rebuild the bridge crossing over the start of the Tone River. Jorn has started to construct a log bridge over the River. This will greatly assist the flow of the Cockatoo Creek into the Tone River. Our dream from a few years ago about restoring the bio-diversity, depth and beauty of the waterway and its local environment are coming true.

Stay tuned – bridge building posts will soon follow!

Happy days

Happy days

Everywhere we have planted is growing beautifully.

Everywhere we have planted is growing beautifully.

Remember this is how they started. There are 30 plants per tray. You are looking at many trays!

Remember this is how they started. There are 30 plants per tray. You are looking at many trays!

The long and winding road……

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Just over twelve months ago we started fencing of land to prepare for our biodiversity projects at Bellalee.

Some said it will never work, others advised they had tried and not a single plant had survived. Others helpfully suggested we were being foolhardy and to expect nothing. Another high ranker suggested that if we had a 20% stick rate after the first twelve months we will done done exceptionally well.

All very disheartening.

We listened however took no heed.

We have a 90% strike rate……. Every where we planted there are wonderful healthy little plants dreaming of becoming big plants. They have survived the long summer and are looking forward to some steady rain. 

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Late December Regeneration update.

photo 1 photo 2Late December 2013 and here we are. The plants are very healthy and going the distance.

Tom (my eldest son), who was one of the volunteers at planting time, recently went down the farm with his mates for a short break from city life. He reported back to us and we are delighted with the progress and that the plants are thriving.

Our bush regeneration attempts to protect and enhance the plant biodiversity along Cockatoo Creek and the Tone River as they flow through Bellalie. We hope that we have provided conditions conductive to the recruitment and survival of our native seedlings. Plus it is envisaged that dormant seed stock will sprout adding to the bio-diversity.

Australian plant communities require some level of perturbation to trigger germination from long-buried seed banks. Some areas of the project were not only ripped and mounded but had additional disturbance-based burning to trigger new growth.

We are very proud to be involved in an active conservation program for remnant vegetation. The aim of this bush regeneration, is to restore and maintain ecosystem health by facilitating the natural regeneration of indigenous flora and to provide linked corridors for wildlife.

Thank you to the South West Catchment Council (SWCC), Land for Wildlife, and the the Department of Conservation for the grants we received and the invaluable assistance in guiding the projects.

Plants, plants everywhere there are plants

We would load up our buckets full of a variety of differing species and head down a mound.

We would load up our buckets full of a variety of differing species and head down a mound.

Carol and Cassie back at the trailer for more plants. Sometimes it seemed endless, head down and off we go - again....
Carol and Cassie back at the trailer for more plants. Sometimes it seemed endless, head down and off we go – again….

Yes we could always rely of Jezabel the dogess to cast her knowing eye over the proceedings.

Yes we could always rely of Jezabel the dogess to cast her knowing eye over the proceedings.

We fed everybody a hearty lunch. A combination of red lentil and spicy carrot soup, and a harissa soup with sourdough garlic bread, followed up with fruit and Evelyns fruits and nut cake. Yum!

We fed everybody a hearty lunch. A combination of red lentil and spicy carrot soup, and a harissa soup with sourdough garlic bread, followed up with fruit and Evelyns fruits and nut cake. Yum!

Potty what? Ki, eh????

Jorn and Steve with two pottutkis he has loaned us to assist with the planting

Jorn and Steve with two pottutkis he has loaned us to assist with the planting

Phew a Pottiputki is an amazing Finnish invention from the 1970’s. specifically designed for manual tree planting. You may recall we have just under 18,000 to plant over the upcoming long weekend. Steve Blyth from Blyth Tree Farm supplied two of the planters we used. Local farmers, the Warberton’s supplied another two and good friend David Lee loaned another.  Fully kitted out of we set.

the planter strikes the Pottiputki  into the ground, you put the plant down the tube and stamp on the slide at the bottom of the devise. The mechanism does the planting as at the bottom of the devise are two claws that look a little like a duckbill. They open after pushing an opening into the ground for the plant. The claws open and drop the plant into the slot, you push the soil bank at your foot in to seal the young seedling into position and move on. Simple, especially 18,000 odd times……..

Well we were an odd wonderful lot of humans and the doggess Jezabel. Hard going left use thinking,….. Jorn Ramel came up with version two, an old 50 odd cm hexagon shaped wooden rod (a former roller from a blind), a a series of 50cm PVC tubes. One person went ahead stamping a slot into the ground and the planters followed, putting the plant down thw tube, stamping it closed and onto the next hole. Horray, horray, horray. EASY…. That is what we like.

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Jorn now with the wooden stamper…. i persevered with the pottiputki. Later I actually like to use it over the tubes.

Grounded pottiputki!
Grounded pottiputki!