Wagga Wagga, NSW

Researching forestry projects for the future - DLWC Research Centre

The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) Research Centre, just outside the regional NSW city of Wagga Wagga, offers a hands-on approach to studying land-based industries and issues. The 200 ha research site hosts many forestry research projects - from biodiverse native forests for carbon capture and habitat creation, to native and pine plantations where growth rates are monitored for timber production.

In August 2001, Greenfleet planted native trees across 15.5 ha of the property.  At the time, this region was experiencing extremely dry weather conditions and intensive site preparation was carried out to maximise survival of the trees.  Riplines were oriented to maximise soil moisture availability and minimise soil erosion on steep areas, and weed control was carried out pre- and post-planting.  Like all Greenfleet plantings, locally indigenous species were selected and planted at the optimum time.  Plants included various native shrubs, Acacias, and Eucalypts.

When we visited in May 2010, the forest was looking very healthy, with the trees now approximately 8-10m tall.  Overall the planting was in excellent condition, even though the site has been exposed to many years of drought.

In addition to monitoring the condition of the trees, Greenfleet forestry contractor, Greg Abel was lucky enough to observe one of the other benefits of this particular forest.  Greg arrived just 20 minutes before a lamb was born. This reinforces that native forests do more than just take carbon from the atmosphere to tackle climate change. They also protect livestock and native animals from the threat of cold and wind, providing windbreaks and shelter. This forest will help to secure a healthy and happy future for this new arrival.

"We've been exceptionally happy with the survival and growth rate of the trees, because they were planted in one of the harshest droughts and cold weather periods this region has seen.  Their survival is due to the excellent land preparation undertaken in partnership with Greenfleet and the grazing management in partnership with TAFE NSW to maintain ground cover but minimise competition from the understorey grasses," said DECCW Senior Natural Resource Officer, Dr Greg Summerell.

"The Greenfleet trees have created a corridor to connect existing isolated patches of native bush.  We are seeing Superb Parrots (listed as a "vulnerable" species in NSW), using the trees as a resting place on their long flights inland for food.  The Superb Parrot is confined to a relatively small area from the NSW/ Victorian border through to the NSW/Queensland border.  Previously their main travelling corridor around the research centre was limited to a set of forested hills over 1km away.  We believe the corridor we have created has improved the local habitat for the Superb Parrot, hopefully supporting the population," said Dr Summerell.

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Location size

15.5ha near Wagga Wagga, NSW

Planting dates

2001

Species

  1. Acacia buxtifolia
  2. Acacia dealbata
  3. Acacia deanei
  4. Acacia implexa
  5. Acacia leucoclada
  6. Acacia melanoxylon
  7. Acacia pycnantha   
  8. Eucalyptus albens
  9. Eucalyptus blakelyi
  10. Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  11. Eucalyptus melliodora
  12. Eucalyptu smicrocarpa
  13. Eucalyptus polyanthemos