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Landscape restoration equipment helps plant trees with ease

Landholders with landscape restoration projects can find solutions with easy-to-operate equipment on loan from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.

From grass seed harvesting, establishing windbreaks, and tree and shrub planting, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services has a stable of equipment to offer small and large landholders revegetation solutions for no charge and substantive support.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Officer, Ivan Lackay, said their Burford tree seeder was recently put to work successfully planting 17 species of native trees and shrubs. The seeder is easily towed behind a low range 4WD and does not require a PTO to operate. It ploughs, discs, direct seeds and compacts the surface as it travels.

“We have just completed a cross-border collaboration with the Oxley Creek Catchment Association (OCCA) in QLD. The OCCA just did a three kilometre direct seeding project with our Burford direct seeder,” Ivan said.

OCCA is supported by the Department of Housing and Public Works to enhance and protect the native vegetation at the 115 hectare Oxley Creek Common at Rocklea, QLD, and the association faced a daunting task. After some research and recommendation, they identified the Burford seeder as the equipment to accomplish the large-scale planting project, funded by the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Program, at the peri urban site.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Service was happy to lend them their seeder for the project to demonstrate its potential.

“We are using a few techniques to plant the 27,000 stems required as part of this project," OCCA Biodiversity Services Manager Chris Jensen said.

"Half of the stems were planted using traditional techniques including a research planting in partnership with the University of Queensland. The direct seeder was used to make up the remainder.”

The direct seeding involved specially-selected species including those which attract birds to the popular Brisbane green space which is already home to over 200 bird species.

OCCA picked up the Burford seeder from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, prepared nearly three hectares of soil and sowed over five kilos of seed in little time, with only two people. Chris felt it was a user-friendly solution to their planting project.

“It was fantastic. It took two days to do the work," Chris said.

"The first day was getting familiar with it, calibrating it, and overcoming a couple of teething problems. Second day, the team got straight into work, and knocked it over easily within the day.”

He reported some of the OCCA ecologists had already seen results in early July.

“Some seedlings are already popping their heads up, which is great,” he said.

Other equipment on loan from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services are the ripper mounder to prepare large-scale planting beds, Potti Putkis (tubestock planters), tubestock belt to take the back strain out of planting, and water trailer to give new seeds and young plants a good start.

Ivan said the grass seed harvester is popular with graziers and anybody seeking to retain the provenance of native grass growing on their farms.

“Landholders can collect their own seed and re-sow it themselves. It’s cheap, economical, and you’re retaining the genetics – the grasses growing on farm are being replanted on farm,” he said.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services also offers landholders items to track and contain feral pest animals.

All equipment is loaned without cost, comes with easy-to-follow user manuals and support. As part of the agreement, it is essential all items are returned in the same state as borrowed, and fully cleaned to minimise the spread of weeds across properties.

For more information about the Landscape Restoration Equipment, please contact Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Officer Ivan Lackay on 02 6720 8300.

Media contact:  Annabelle Monie 02 6720 8317 or 0429 626 326