Pad­dock tree field day

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

OUR pad­dock trees are dy­ing.

The grace­ful mon­sters that dis­tin­guish our grassy wood­land land­scapes could all be dead within a hu­man gen­er­a­tion.

With them will go many of the ben­e­fits they bring to our farm­ing en­ter­prises as well as the aes­thetic plea­sure they bring to lo­cals and tourists.

Strath­bo­gie Ranges Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Net­work (CMN) re­cently held a field day to con­sider the ben­e­fits of and threats to pad­dock trees as well as ac­tions landown­ers could take to pro­tect and re­place them when they do die.

About 35 peo­ple at­tended the twi­light field day in the Pran­jip Creek valley near Long­wood.

Kim Wil­son from the Euroa Ar­bore­tum out­lined the im­por­tance of pad­dock trees and the threats they faced.

Most of the larger trees in our land­scape are likely to be more than 200 years old pre-dat­ing the arrival of Euro­peans.

The trees pro­vide im­por­tant ecosys­tem ser­vices that ben­e­fit landown­ers.

Kim said that as well as mak­ing sure we nur­ture re­place­ment trees it was im­por­tant to keep the trees in the land­scape even af­ter they die be­cause the hol­lows will con­tinue to pro­vide refuge for birds and other wildlife.

Beatrix Spencer talked to the group about her work at The Univer­sity of Mel­bourne on per­cep­tions of pad­dock trees and how of­ten landown­ers had dif­fer­ent rea­sons for valu­ing trees than sci­en­tists.

She said it was im­por­tant to un­der­stand the aes­thetic and cul­tural value of trees as well as sci­en­tific val­ues.

The evening wound up with a fas­ci­nat­ing pre­sen­ta­tion by Dr Lindy Lumsden from the Arthur Ry­lah In­sti­tute who in­tro­duced the group to the world of bats and the im­por­tant role they play in our land­scapes.

With the cur­rent over abun­dance of mos­qui­tos, ev­ery­one was hop­ing the bats would do their work and eat the an­noy­ing mossies.

Lindy talked about the range of bats that are present in our land­scape, what they do and how to recog­nise when they are around.

She also set up some elec­tronic ‘bat call’ sens­ing gear to show peo­ple how ac­tive small bats were in the evening.

This was the fi­nal event of the pop­u­lar Strath­bo­gie Ranges CMN New and Part­time Landowner se­ries for 2016. With sup­port from the Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity the se­ries will re­turn in 2017.

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