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The focus of the trial was to find out if rainforest species would survive and thrive if they were planted deeper in the soil in a similar way to the plants used in riparian trials as developed by Bill Hicks. The plants for this trial were our own seedlings that had been grown to long stem size approximately 1 metre. A water jet to dig the holes was not suitable for us due to lack of water to the site. Planting was carried out on 28th July 2002 using a petrol driven auger to dig the holes. 5 litres of water was used in each hole and allowed to soak in. Plants were pre-watered while still in their pots and placed in the hole leaving not less than 90mm of stem and foliage above the ground.
Care must be taken when back-filling the hole that no air pockets are left as the plant will dry out. Another 5 litres of water was used to settle-in the plant. Wire baskets were used to protect plants from wallaby attacks. Plants were numbered and measured. Records were kept each month of progress. Three months after planting, a selection from each species was root inspected for signs of extra roots developing above the original root ball.
67 tube stock were planted and at the end of the trial only 5 plants had died.
46 plants were root inspected in October 2002 for root development and 25 of those had developed roots above the original root ball.
A copy of the Trial Report is available on page 6 .
Drilling the holes with a
Come on fellows don't just stand there looking at the camera. Get on with it!
Preparing to plant the tube stocks.
Everyone helped. We even had a Japanese exchange student. It must have been a bit of a culture shock but she was willing and helpful.
Longtube stock ready for planting.
Plants required basketing for protection from hungry wallabies
Large leaf plants have suffered from sunburn but are still healthy.
Two months old Sloanea showing healthy new growth.
The nearby weeds below are very stressed.
The Tasmannia insipida is coping well.
Trema aspera showing healthy roots above the original rootball.
Root inspection. Note roots over the yellow pen.
Plants were watered once after root inspection.
The drought conditions were very severe but these plants recovered well after rains.
Sixty seven tubestock were planted in Area 8 and by July 2003 fifty seven were still alive and growing strongly.
Site 8 July 2003 Report.
Only 10 plants have died in the 12 months since planting. The most successful species being Glochidion ferdinandi and Trema aspera.
These species that are usually grown in the shady rainforest have survived the extremely dry conditions well, Neolitsia dealbata , Sloanea australis, Gmelina leichhardtii
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