National Tree Day

National Tree Day
National Tree Day

G’day, did you know Sunday 28 July 2019,  was National Tree Day? Of course you did, you follow this blog after all.  I did my best to honor wonderful trees by planting trees and by hopefully saving some others from being logged.

National Tree Day was co-founded in 1996 by Planet Ark and Olivia Newton-John and has grown into Australia’s largest community tree-planting and nature care event. It’s a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the community. Source The Echo.

Tree planting

In the morning I went out to Lismore with one of my mates (Barb), where we helped plant 1100 rainforest trees and plants on the banks of the Wilsons River with Landcare.

Welcome to country by Aunty Thelma James
Welcome to country by Aunty Thelma James

It started with a wonderful welcome to country by Aunty Thelma James, who I hadn’t seen for years. I used to take people to Gunnawanbe Cafe, which was owned and run by Aunty Thelma and Uncle Mick Roberts, when I first started my business about 12 years ago. It was so nice to see her again and catch up. We have so much to learn from the indigenous custodians of this country.  She told us how a massacre had occurred on the banks of the river and that several other people had drowned there. Aunty Thelma was told not to swim there as a young girl, as it was a bad place.   She hoped that the trees we were planting would go to help heal the area. Before we started she asked us to spend a few minutes thinking and reflecting by the river bank, about why we were there (if you don’t want to be there, go, as your bad energy will prevent the healing).

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We then all rolled up our sleeves, put on our gloves and started to plant. There was a wide variety of plants donated by different groups, including:

  • Lismore City Council
  • Rous Water
  • Firewheel Rainforest Nursery
  • Friends of the Koala
  • Friends of Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens
  • Macadamia Conservation Trust
  • the Northern Rivers Science Hub   and
  • Southern Cross University – Live Ideas

But with 130 people, it really doesn’t take long to plant 1100 trees, of course, once planted, and watered, they need on going care, which Landcare will supply.

With the crew still doing the finishing touches, we set off for our next tree adventure, of this National Tree Day.

Saving koala trees

As I’ve said on this blog before, Koalas are in desperate trouble, their numbers are dwindling down the 80000 mark, which some experts are saying makes them functionaly extinct. This doesn’t stop NSW Forestry from logging their habitat though. We headed out to The Braemar State Forest near Casino, a locked gate didn’t hold us back as we car pooled in 4WD’s to get to the spot where we suspected some koalas called home and loggers call money. This event has been organised by the Forest East Forest Alliance, who’s prime goal is to protect forests and threatened speices.

Koala scats
Koala scats

A group of about 15 of us fanned out from the road and combed the area looking for koala food trees, mostly, forest red gum, grey gum and grey box. Looking for any koala scratches on the truck then scouring the leaf litter looking for little brown, cigar shapped scats. If a tree had more than 20 scats, its deemed a high use tree, and no only would that tree be saved, then trees within 20 metres, should also be saved from the loggerers chainsaws.

It was a bit slow to start but we eventually we got our eye in, and we found more than 10 trees with more than 20 scats, some with 60-80, it was indeed a high use area. Dailin Pugh would now be able to write a report to Forestry, which will hopefully stop them logging these treess in August.

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The secondary aim of our field trip was to return later with night vision goggles to see what noctural animals we could find. We were going  to look at the trees, where we saw the scats, but ground was quite rough and I decided that we should stick to the dirt road for safety reasons.  We did see a glider (not sure if was a squirrel glider or a sugar glider), it was a surprise to see one as there were not many big trees with hollows, due to all the logging. We may of seen more if we had gone out a bit later.  It is usually better to look for noctural animals after 9-10pm, but it had been a long day and most of us were a quite tired, including this weary nature nerd. So we packed up the gear and all headed back to our homes.

What a great day out planting and saving trees.


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