The Regeneration Areas

When we bought Rubicon, there was a 0.1 ha area at the northern end of the agricultural drain infested with buttercups, Lotus spp., grass and thistles. There was a much smaller problem closer to the road. We decided to try to shade out the weeds by planting densely with indigenous trees and shrubs.

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We made an unsuccessful attempt at replanting the area by direct seeding with local provenance seed of Acacia melanoxylon, Eucalyptus ovata, Leptospermum scoparia, Leptospermum lanigera, Melaleuca squarrosa and Diplarrena moraea.

 

 

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Our next attempt at replanting, successful this time, was first to hoe and hand-weed the weed area, then spread it thickly with mulch and finally to plant out seedling shrubs and trees raised from our seed by Jim McLeod from Oldina Nursery.

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We planted the seedlings in pairs – one in a cage and one uncaged – as an experiment to see whether caging was cost effective.

 

 

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The blackwood seedlings really benefitted from caging, the Leptospermum lanigera and Melaleuca squarrosa seedlings were nibbled by herbivores but resprouted,

 

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whereas the Eucalyptus ovata seedlings survived quite well without caging - see our report: Experiment to determine whether putting protective wire mesh cages round seedling plants improves their survival and growth.

 

 

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The trees and shrubs have grown well. Each year we have added more mulch underneath them. The result is that the former weed area is now a shady grove of Eucalyptus ovata and Acacia melanoxylon, with an understorey of Leptospermum lanigera and Melaleuca squarrosa, and with hardly a weed in sight.

 

Regeneration areas
The two regeneration areas. Map data: Google