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Planting rainforest trees

13 years ago

I've been spending a great deal of time in recent months planting native trees on my land. The site is on the Sunshine Coast and the land is gently sloping with about 4 - 5 inches of top soil. Below that is clay and shillet/shale. The ph is 5.5 - 6. much of the ground is thickly matted with Themeda triandra Kangaroo Grass. The planting proceedure that I have adapted is to brushcut close to the ground a 4 foot circle. I then loosen up that soil with a pickaxe, turn over and break up the grass root clumps. I spread a light coat of dolomite and a heavier coat of gypsum over this circle. In the middle section I pickaxe deeply but dont bring any of the subsoil to the top, just decompact below ground. Into the centre I then mix a little less than half a bucket of potting mix, similar to what is in the pot with the plant. I mix this with the top soil and the scoop out a well in the middle and add a small quantity of water crystals. Just covering these crystals with the mix, I then plant the tree (having plunged the pot into a bucket of water first). I firm the young plant in with my hands and then use the chisel end of the pickaxe to cut a narrow channel either side of the planting cicle, on the upward side to catch water and direct it into the circle. The soil from this narrow trench is then drawn down and used to make a small 'retaining' wall below the plant to retain water. I then sprinkle a handful of dynamic lifter over the circle, water well and then heavily mulch with hay. If I'm planting anything that needs extra drainage, I use some blocks or logs of timber to make a bit of a retaining wall on the down side and then bring in a barrow load of topsoil, that was saved from the same site. So far the plants have all responded really well. I still have a lot more plants to place in the ground. I would be interested in any comments on possible improvements I can make. I want to maximise growth on this new site. It is land that is set aside under the 'Land for wildlife'; I'm coming up to retirement age and want to enjoy the trees and wildlife before I fall off my perch! This method is quite time consuming, each tree can take 15 - 20 mins to plant but thankfully I enjoy the process and always come away feeling spiritually enlightened. Happy gardening and thank you Jan

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