A Planting Day for Those That Like a Challenge

Big TreeFriends of Tarra-Bulga National Park have a number of project sites where they are aiming to convert several not so pristine areas of the park back to towering Mountain Ash Forest. On Saturday August the 9th they are holding a planting day along Diaper Tk where they’ve been restoring a 2ha site that was once over-run by 30m high Sycamore Maple trees.

The friends are keen for as many helpers are possible on the day but please note the task is a bit of a challenge and may not be for everyone. Access to the site is via 2.5km walk, which will probably be quite muddy at this time of year. Movement around the planting site itself is difficult, as it is covered in re-generating shrubs, ferns, logs and branches of what remains of the dead Sycamore Maple trees; there may also be the odd Leech.

In order to keep the newly planted Mountain Ash seedlings out of reach of hungry Swamp Wallabies, large wire mesh tree guards will be installed on the day.

So if all of the warnings found above hasn’t deterred you and you are keen to come along and plant a tree that may one day be an 80m tall giant please come along. The meeting spot will be at the Tarra-Bulga National Park visitors centre car park (Balook) at 9am.

To register or for further enquiries phone 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com (BYO lunch, Drinks etc.)

Lyrebird Survey Results 2014

Perfect conditions this year for our annual Lyrebird count, with a beautiful still and mild morning. Another bonus was thirty keen volunteers fronting up for the 6.15 am, which meant we could cover all our 16 monitoring points. Thank you so much everyone for turning up, with many coming from far and wide to participate.

From our mapping we identified at least 10 male birds calling, which in memory is one of our best results. At several stations tracing birds was easy because they were observed calling from trees directly overhead the post. The folk monitoring the Bulga Car Park also reported a male and female (or juvenile male) bird running through their site.

It was hard for many of us to drag ourselves away from the calling birds and across to the guest house for breakfast. The last group back had been lucky enough toc come across a male in full display next to his mound. It wasn’t  only Lyrebirds that were vocal on such a nice morning with Whip Birds, Tree Creepers Kookaburras and others adding to the morning chorus.

lyrebird count 2014
lyrebird count 2014



Fungi Time and Sycamore Maples

We had our annual “Maple Pull” at a site along the Tarra Valley Rd yesterday. The fact that we had only a small crew turnout was OK because thanks to our consistent efforts we have got to the point where the task is mainly a search mission, when we first started out we were pulling hundreds of seedlings. Yesterday after tramping around the area we managed to find and either hand pull or cut and paint forty seven young Sycamore Maple, as well as prising out some Blackberry seedlings and the odd stray bit of Ivy. The Maple is being controlled, but we still have issues with Tutsan at this site, and that will be a future war, that we may one day have the energy to take on but it will be much harder to win.

While wandering around in search of Maple it was a good chance marvel at the fresh new Fungi blooms. They are a real feature at this time of the year and thanks to consistent rain to date in Autumn, it should be a bumper season for Fungi spotters. After the work, we looked after the workers (a tradition at Friends of Tarra-Bulga) and headed down to the Fernholme Caravan Park where David provided us with toasties, hot coffee and freshly baked banana cake. We were joined at the table by a Lewin’s Honeyeater. A great way to refresh after spending the morning out in the dripping wet forest.

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Fire Recovery on the Grand Ridge Rd

Another series of photos, showing the recovery of burnt vegetation over time, this site is on an exposed north facing ridge, where the fire was fairly intense. Some sections of the burnt areas along the Grand Ridge Rd had trees that were mature enough to release lots of seeds and in those spots there has been thick Eucalyptus regeneration. Another large area further west was formerly fully cleared land, which had been replanted with Mountain Ash in the early 1990’s unfortunately these trees had not reached adulthood, which meant that the Mountain Ash, (which cannot re-sprout after a fire like other Eucalyptus species) were all killed;  no seed to release meant that no new trees germinated after the fires only understorey. Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park have just received a Communities For Nature grant to re-establish canopy trees  at this site.

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