Friends of Trigg Bushland Inc. Tuart Project – preliminary report September 2009. Trigg Bushland is comprised of three main areas, bisected by major roads, with very different soil and vegetation in each area.
Tuart Project – preliminary report
Trigg Bushland is comprised of three main areas, bisected by major roads, with very different soil and vegetation in each area.
The ‘Tuart Atlas’ recognised very few trees in Trigg Bushland – but we knew this was not correct.
There were huge, stately tuart trees…. Bushland – but we knew this was not correct.
…as well as many-trunked tuarts – almost mallees…. Bushland – but we knew this was not correct.
…and there many, many dead trees, usually fire damaged… Bushland – but we knew this was not correct.
But to our surprise, there were hundreds of young tuart seedlings and juveniles !
Our tuart project seedlings and juveniles !
Signboard in Trigg Bushland
Signboard in Trigg Bushland seedlings and juveniles !
Website seedlings and juveniles !
…find us at www.triggbushland.org.au
Tuart mapping seedlings and juveniles !
9 people at various times, surveying in pairs
Have received some assistance from secondary school students – particularly Hale School Duke of Edinburgh programme participants
Used own equipment
GPS seedlings and juveniles !
Data collection sheet
Photos of tuarts are converted to GPS waypoints through the use of special software…
Details of each tree are taken by hand… use of special software…
Progress to February 2009 species…
What have we learned? species…
Surprising number of tuarts
Surprising number of young trees
Generally healthy condition of tuarts
Most damage appears fire related
‘Middle aged and older’ tuarts missing – there are few large and old trees, and few trees ‘middle aged’ trees staged to take their place
Most of the tuarts in this part of Trigg Bushland are very small – under 3 metres. There are very few large tuarts.
It is likely that the majority of tuarts in Duart Arnott have grown since the last major fire.
If another major fire were to occur, it is likely that only a few large, old tuarts would survive.
Reducing the frequency of fire is critical to maintaining a viable tuart population, as tuarts do not have a persistent seedbank in the soil.
No need to plant trees – Trigg Bushland can regenerate by itself in most areas at present
Protection of existing population – juvenile trees as well as mature trees - is first priority
Fire control probably most important threat to address
Secondary threats may be fungal (Phytophthera, Armillaria)
Issues coming out of discussions with DEC and THRG/Centre for Excellence for Forest Health:
Completion of survey and analysis of data is required to draw final conclusions
Fire history mapping
Fire plan and liaison with CoS / FESA / local residents
Seed collection and secure storage
Inoculation of remaining mature trees to promote their seed-bearing life while next generation becomes fire-hardy
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