Working Bees Switching to Sundays

This year we are switching to hold most of our on-ground activities on Sundays. The first one is coming up this Sunday morning (March 31st). We will be meeting at the Tarra Valley Carpark at 9.30am and then heading down to our project site a bit further down the road where we will spend a couple of hours hand weeding sycamore maple, ivy and tutsan.
BYO, gloves etc but please let us know via friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com or phone 0488 035 314  if you intend to come along in case any plans need to change on the day.
Photo of Tutsan
Tutsan with some fruit ready to spread more seed into the park.

Get yourself into Tarra-Bulga this Weekend

Do you love getting outdoors?
o Keen on gardening.
o Reasonably fit and active.
o Available next Saturday (October 21st) and have your own transport to get to Tarra-Bulga and hate weeds.
o Then helping out with weed removal at our next Working Bee could be great for you.

Meeting Point: 9.30am at the Tarra Valley Car Park
All Tools Provided: (Finish at 12.30)
BYO. Gloves, Hat, Sturdy Shoes, Drink, Snacks

RSVP: To David on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

or register via https://www.parkconnect.vic.gov.au/

Working Bee (Tutsan and Sycamore Maple) – Saturday March 21st.

 Our first group activity for the year will be held at a site in the park along Tarra Valley Rd that we have been working on for nearly a decade now. Initially we started tackling a serious infestation of Sycamore Maple, which is a tree that can be very invasive, it has light papery seeds that disperse in the wind, it can grow in shade and then potentially become a large tree. Over the years we have pulled out hundreds of new seedlings that have spread into the park and cut out and killed many larger saplings.

Photo of Tutsan
Tutsan with some fruit ready to spread more seed into the park.

We have now been successful at getting the Maple fairly well controlled and we have now also started on another weed (Tutsan) that is established at the site. Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) is a perennial shrub that grows to about 1.5m tall, it is related to St John’s Wort and is noted as being a serious threat to damp and wet schlerophyll forests. We have received a Communities for Nature grant to assist our efforts that will be used to fund contractors to spray the larger infestations as well as to purchase some hand tools and chemical to support our efforts.

We will be holding a working bee at the site on Saturday March the 21st. The meeting point will be at the Tarra Valley Car Park at 9.30am. Like many of our working bees’ the terrain will be steep and lots of scrambling through undergrowth will be required. Tools will be available but if you have your own favourite gloves or loppers please bring them along. Following the work we will have a free BBQ lunch provided down at the Fernholme Caravan Park (at around 1pm). If you are able to come along please call or email David Akers (0488 035 314) or friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com preferably by March the 18th so we know how much food to buy.

Orange Pore Fungi - Favolaschia calocera

Alien Fungi

Seems like not only plants and animals can be invasive. Yesterday, while walking along Forest Track, I spotted an unusual Fungi fruiting on a fallen log. It was a vivid orange colour and seemed to have an unusual pore arrangement on the underside. After snapping a few photos, I headed home to consult the field guides. Seeing nothing really to match, I uploaded the photo to http://www.Bowerbird.org.au  where a subscriber there quickly identified it as an exotic species, Favolaschia calocera otherwise known as Orange Pore Fungi.

Orange Pore Fungi - Favolaschia calocera, underside showing the pores.
Orange Pore Fungi – Favolaschia calocera

This Fungi apparently is a recent arrival to Australia the first record of it is from 2005. It was first observed in Madagascar and has recently spread to a number of countries across the globe. According to Wikipedia it colonises ruderal sites (Wastelands/Roadsides) where it can become the dominate species. Fingers crossed it does not become a dominate feature of our not so ruderal forests. Not sure how you can weed out or control a pest fungi.

Orange Pore Fungi - Favolaschia calocera
Orange Pore Fungi – Favolaschia calocera, View from the top showing the caps.

 

2014 Maple Murder

Do you hate weeds invading National Parks?

Are you willing to go clambering through dense under-growth to search and then destroy them?

Are you available on Saturday April the 5th?

If you answered yes to all of the above please come along to our Annual Maple Murder!
Maples Be Gone
Maples Be Gone
Meet at 9.30 am at the Tarra Valley Carpark.
  • Bring Gloves. and a drink.
  • A BBQ lunch will probably be provided but still to be confirmed (We will let you know ASAP)

Phone David on 0488 035 314 or email: friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com to register or to obtain further details.

 

Sycamore Maple Reveg Site – Progress Report March 2014

Took the trek in to check on the progress of this site recently. Part of our strategy against Wallaby predation, as well as using big guards, had been to plant Mountain Ash among some of the large dead Sycamore Maple that had been fallen at the site. Initially it had seemed that this plan had worked a treat, but we had underestimated the Wallabies and last time I visited the site (6 months ago) the pesky Macropods had pretty much munched all of the carefully placed plants; all but confirming that our conventional method of using big wire mesh tree guards is the only way to beat these beasts.

Even species that were meant to be Wallabies least preferred food such as Olearia lirata (Snowy Daisy-bush) were being heavily chewed.

On this visit things were actually looking a little better and it seemed that there had been some recovery of planted tubestock; although the ones not properly guarded were not much bigger than when they were planted over 18 months ago.

The Sycamore Maple which had once completely covered the 2ha site is also not giving up without a fight. A clamber around the site revealed many seedlings emerging and we as a group will focus on removing them before they become large feral trees. On the plus side there is mass natural regeneration of native understorey occurring with an impressive diversity of species, including plenty of Wattles; that have germinated without the aid of fire. The Maple logs that we left in-situ have been a massive bonus because the micro-climate they created has been perfect for fern regeneration, which is happening all over the site.  The logs are breaking down quickly now with a variety of Fungi helping the process. We will have another planting day later in the year on this site (using  the big Wallaby guards) so keep a look out for it if you are keen to lend a hand.

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Do you want fries with that?

Hopefully they won’t be a huge threat to the ecology of Tarra-Bulga National Park but it was interesting to spot this crop of potatoes that seem to have become naturalised in a small patch in the park on the roadside along the Bulga Park Rd.

Tarra Bulga Spud
Tarra Bulga Spud
Potato plants on the edge of the gully.
Potato plants on the edge of a gully along Bulga Park Road.