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The Bushcarer

Bush For Life Autumn 2009 Number 2

Bush For Life News Bushcarers: we want you back!

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he Bush For Life program has trained thousands of South Australians over the past decade, with many becoming active volunteers in the program. Some of these volunteers stay around for years, but others have had to retire from the program due to various reasons. To encourage retired bushcarers back, we now have an expanded program of group activities that might better suit each volunteers situation. Please contact Sam, the BFL Volunteer Coordinator on 8406 0542 to discuss the volunteering opportunities available to you.

Are you experimenting?

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he Bush For Life team are always looking to improve our knowledge of bush regeneration techniques. If you are a bushcarer who has been conducting trials on your site we would love to hear from you. Please contact your Regional Coordinator or Sam on 8406 0542.

BFL needs your help

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olunteers are needed to assist with BAT preparation between April and November for approximately 1-2 days per week. If you would like to be involved please contact Randall on 8406 0544. We are also interested to hear from any

volunteers able to assist with BFL office tasks. If this sounds like you please contact Sam on 8406 0542.

Empty containers needed!

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rees For Life encourages the reuse of resources wherever possible. We would appreciate it if volunteers could rinse and return empty herbicide, sufactant, dye and methylated spirits containers for refill. Please contact your Regional Coordinator to organise a drop off

Do you want other volunteers to know who you are?

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ome BFL volunteers have not yet received name badges. If you would like to be easily identified by other volunteers when working on your site or as part of a group activity please contact Sam on 8406 0542.

Volunteers: BFL equipment available for loan

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re you currently an active BFL volunteer? Are you in need of equipment beyond your standard BFL kit? We have brushcutters, drills, bush condition monitoring kits, loppers, secateurs, folding saws and herbicide spray units available for loan. Please contact your Regional Coordinator to discuss the availability of these items

Chemical use on BFL sites

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ust a gentle reminder that we would like only Glyphosate to be used by volunteers when working on BFL sites. If you have attended a BFL Broadleaf Herbicide Workshop you are qualified to also use Brush-off at your Regional Coordinators discretion. Please contact your Regional Coordinator to discuss your options

Cover photos from top to bottom: Astroloma conostephioides, Opodiphthera eucalypti, Diuris orientalis

Contact us The Bushcarer is a production of Trees For Life. If you would like to help us save paper by receiving this by email, please let us know.

Trees For Life 5 May Tce Brooklyn Park 5032 Ph: 8406 0500 Fax: 8406 0599 info@treesforlife.org.au

Missing drill!

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e are missing BFL drill no. 19. If you are in possession of it please contact Randall on 8406 0544.

You are one of over 700 bushcarers actively managing more than 300 Bush For Life sites encompassing more than 4000ha of bushland in South Australia

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Species Identification - Allocasuarina

Sheoaks ‌ the good and the bad By MARK ELLIS BFL Manager

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istinguishing between indigenous species and other Australian natives that have either been planted or have gone feral on a site is often the most difficult task for bush regenerators. The Sheoaks are one such group. Sheoaks found in southern Australia belong to two genera, Allocasuarina and Casuarina. In the Mount Lofty Ranges the six naturally occurring Sheoaks are all in the genus Allocasuarina and all but one are shrubs. Allocasuarina verticillata or Drooping Sheoak is a very common small tree found in a broad range of vegetation associations, from coastal heaths, through grassy woodlands to the higher rainfall forests of the Ranges. Three non-indigenous Sheoaks, all from the genus Casuarina, have been widely planted in South Australia, for ornamental purposes and in misguided revegetation projects. All three have gone feral to various extents and now represent major threats to local biodiversity, particularly near waterways. These species form dense monospecific stands by suckering, obliterating any other species in their way. They are Casuarina glauca, C. obesa and C. cunninghamiana. Bush regenerators can use a number of features to distinguish them. It is likely that you will need to use several for a positive identification as not all features will be readily observable on a single plant. Note that all species have separate male and female plants (dioecy), so fruit and seeds will not be found on all trees.

Supported by

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Tree or shrub? Most indigenous Sheoaks to the Mt. Lofty Ranges are shrubs, the only tree form being A. verticillata or Drooping Sheoak. If you find a shrub form it is unlikely to be a feral.

Shape of the mature tree Drooping Sheoak has a domed crown and reaches 4-10m, while the ferals are pyramidal in shape and can reach up to 20m tall.

Branchlets (or phyllichnia) Drooping Sheoak has branchlets (the leafless jointed stems) that are 10-40mm long between the joints while the ferals are 8-20mm. With a hand lens look closely at the ridges and furrows along the branchlet. Drooping Sheoak has dense hairs in the furrows while the ferals are hairless.

Allocasuarina verticillata (Drooping Sheoak)

Fruit size & seeds Drooping Sheoak has large fruits on female trees (2050mm long and 20-30mm broad) while the ferals have much smaller fruits (8-20mm long and up to 15mm broad). Drooping Sheoak has very dark brown-black seeds when mature, while seeds of the ferals are lighter yellow/grey-brown.

Male flower spikes Drooping Sheoak has much longer male flower spikes (312cm long), while the ferals are more commonly 1.2-4cm long.

Suckering? Drooping Sheoak rarely suckers while many of the ferals sucker prolifically, especially in damp areas. Be careful that you identify suckers correctly, they are always attached to the parent plant by an underground rhizome. Often clumps of Drooping Sheoak seedlings can give the false impression of suckering.

Treatment Once the feral has been positively identified you need to determine a strategy to control it on your Bush For Life site. Note that the feral species have been planted in many areas so permission from the landholder (on council sites) may be

The non-indigenous Casuarina glauca (Swamp Oak)

needed, speak to your Regional Coordinator if you are unsure. Small suckers can be cut and swabbed with Glyphosate and larger plants drilled and filled with good success rates. They do not form lignotubers like olives and are much easier to control with this method. If a mature plant is cut without poisoning it can lead to a proliferation of suckers. A detailed table of identification features of these four species can be found on

our website treesforlife.org.au

References: Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) 1989, Flora of Australia Hamamelidales to Casuarinales, vol. 3, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. Boland, D, Brooker, M, Chippendale, G, Hall, N, Hyland, B, Johnston, R, Kleinig, D, Turner, J. 1984, Forest Trees of Australia, CSIRO, Melbourne

This project is supported by Trees For Life, through funding from members, the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country, Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray Darling Basin and Northern & Yorke Natural Resource Management Boards and participating local governments.

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Site Case Study - Barossa Reservoir

Boneseed in the Barossa Reservoir By KYM SMITH BFL Regional Coordinator

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A Water’s Barossa Reservoir is adjacent to Williamstown, east of Para Wirra Recreation Park and includes the well known Whispering Wall. The reserve is over 300ha in area and contains diverse habitats from grassy woodland to dense Melaleuca shrubland. It has over 300 species of native plants. Bushcarers Roy and Betty (pictured) have been regularly working on this site since 1999 and have been joined by numerous other volunteers on BFL Bush Action Teams and Bush Management Days.

Weed threat Boneseed, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera, is the main weed threat to native vegetation on this site. The progress made in controlling boneseed and the methods used on this site have set the benchmark for boneseed control in remnant native vegetation. The work complements the efforts of SA Water staff and contractors as well as work funded by South Para Biodiversity Project and the AMLR NRM Board. Boneseed (together with the closely related Bitou Bush, C. monilifera ssp. rotundata) is recognised as one of 20 Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) because of its ability to invade and degrade the biodiversity of native bushland. The boneseed infestations occur mostly in disturbed areas but also invades areas of intact native vegetation. Seeds are spread by foxes, emus and small birds or just by gravity. Some seed is still viable after three years and may last much longer. Mature boneseed bushes may produce up to 50,000

seeds per year. Up to 19,000 seeds per square metre have been found in the You Yangs regional park in Victoria. In areas of the Barossa Reservoir where boneseed has been mostly controlled Roy has found that emu scats now contain predominantly seeds of native plants such as Astroloma conostephioides. Thomas et. al. (2005) found that boneseed infestation caused a decrease in important native understorey plants and a reduction in soil seed-bank. This may be the result of direct competition for resources. Bitou bush is known to alter microclimatic conditions, leaf litter decomposition rates and invertebrate composition as well as threatening native plant species by producing allelopathic compounds which inhibit the development of other plants (Weiss et. al. 2008).

Natural regeneration The main methods of control of boneseed in Barossa Reservoir have been cut and swab, careful hand pulling or drill and fill for very large bushes. These methods cause minimum soil disturbance and minimal off-target damage to native plants. Regeneration of native species after this treatment has been very encouraging, even in areas where there had been dense infestations. Almost 100 control areas or weed fronts have been established on this site. This ensures that areas are not overcleared but allows for follow-up to be done frequently to prevent seed set in regrowth. Remnant mid and ground storey native plants have been found even in the densest infestations. Careful control of boneseed around these remnants establishes secondary weed fronts and increases the rate at which natural regeneration occurs. Follow-up control is still necessary in areas where boneseed has been controlled and the soil seedbank depleted as seed may be brought in by birds or animals from other areas.

Barossa Reservoir bushcarers Roy and Betty.

Recommendations Mapping of treated and untreated infestations and assessment of the condition of remnant native vegetation assist in the prioritisation of control. Isolated weeds in the best areas of native vegetation should be controlled first. Avoid over-clearing as this will only advantage boneseed or other weeds and disturb the habitat of important native fauna. In a good season, or after bushfires, boneseed may set seed within 12 months so regular follow-up control of boneseed is necessary to prevent seed set in previously cleared areas. Photopoints are important for monitoring natural regeneration and to illustrate how much progress can be made by slow, methodical bushcare.

Trees For Life gratefully acknowledge the support of SA Water for the Bush For Life program and their funding of BATs and Bush Management Days.

References Weiss, P.W, Adair, R.J, Edwards, P.B, Winkler, M.A. & Downey, P.O. 2008, ‘Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera (L.) T.Norl. and ssp. rotundata (DC.) T.Norl’, Plant Protection Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 3-14, (online Informit) Thomas, P. B, Possingham, H. & Roush R. 2005, ‘Effects of boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera (L.) Norl. ssp. monilifera) on the composition of the vegetation and soil seed bank of an open eucalypt woodland’, Plant Protection Quarterly, vol 20, no. 2, pp. 74-80, (online Informit)

Actual swabbed boneseed next to an undisturbed helmet orchid.

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2/03/2009 3:40:35 PM


BFL Volunteering

Spectacular sites await bush volunteers By PETER WATTON BFL Operations Manager (South)

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hile the majority of the sites in the Bush For Life program are found in and around the Adelaide Hills and Plains, others can be found from the Mid-North to the Southern Fleurieu Coast, the Yorke Peninsula to the Murray Mallee and pretty much anywhere in between. Many of the sites, particularly the larger ones

owned by private landholders, are remote from the Adelaide suburbs where the majority of our volunteers live. We are seeking to link up volunteers with some of these properties. Most are within an hour or two’s drive from Adelaide, so they can easily be reached for a day trip. You may even like to stay for a week-end or a week. In some cases accommodation or camping is available on the property itself, while others are close to public facilities. One property where this is already working is Hugh and June Longbottom’s property near Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula. This property was

established as a BFL site in 2003, when the first of several Bush Action Team visits took place. Participants of this first BAT activity asked Hugh if they could return to do some follow up weed control on their own. This has resulted in a long term connection with the property, with the volunteers taking along their camper trailer and spreading their time between weed control on the block and recreational activities in the wider region. For further information on the kind of properties that are available, please refer to the adjacent advertisement for the Minko Wines Vineyard or call Sam on 8406 0542.

Minko Wines Vineyard - Volunteers Needed

Just 3 kilometres south-west of Mt. Compass 80 Hectares of Stringybark Low Open Forest

Player Reserve: a jewel in the suburbs By ANDREW ALLANSON BFL Operations Manager (North)

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uring the coming year, the Regional Coordinator for the Tea Tree Gully Council area, Ginenne Eylander will be supervising several Bush Management Days at Player Reserve. This is a rare site as it contains many species no longer commonly found in the metropolitan area. Of particular interest is the Banksia marginata woodland. Following work in previous years by site volunteers, Bush Action Teams and Bush Management Days, the site is now showing great signs of recovery. Orchids are returning in increasing numbers and several Banksia seedlings have been found. You can play a part in helping to recover this window into the past by checking the Bush Management Day schedule on pages 2 & 3 of the Group Activity brochure. Register with Ginenne on 0423 500 155 for a Bush Management Day that suits you.

This 80ha property of low, open Stringybark forest is under Heritage Agreement and has five native plant species with state conservation rating. This includes the vulnerable Eucalyptus paludicola (Mount Compass Swamp Gum), rare Viminaria juncea (Native Broom) and Melaleuca squamea (Swamp Honey-myrtle). An additional 15 native plant species have a regional conservation rating. The main weed species are scattered broom and blackberry patches, with a few isolated larger woody weeds. Pentaschistis and Monadenia are also invading parts of the bushland. There is a fenced off camping area adjacent to the bushland and close to a dam. A caravan is available on site or you can bring your own tent or van. Facilities include an outhouse and dry wood for a camp fire during the cooler months. There is a B & B cabin on the property that may be available subject to negotiation with the owner. The Mt Compass Caravan Park is just 1 kilometre down the road. Suitable for people seeking opportunities to carefully hand weed, cut & swab, drill & fill or spot spray weeds. Other activities available on the property include bush walking, bird watching and relaxing with a book. In the wider region, there are conservation parks, a public golf course, the Produce and Tourist Trail and wetlands boardwalk. If you are interested in being introduced by a BFL Regional Coordinator and helping out on this property please contact Sam on 8406 0542, or samanthab@treesforlife.org.au.

Trees For Life

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Bush For Life Program

Regional Coordinator Ginenne Eylander.

2/03/2009 3:40:42 PM


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