Endangered tree population restored over eight years

An eight year labor of love has meant the endangered Cumberland Plain tree now has a thriving population in Menangle.

Bush care workers have restored a patch of the native Blue Box eucalyptus, estimated to be more than 500 years old.

The Greater Sydney Local Land Services, South32 Illawarra Coal and the Razorback Environment Protection Society teamed up to preserve the trees on a rural Menangle property.

Senior Land Services officer Peter Ridgeway said the trees were among the oldest trees in the area.

“With less than eight percent of the original woodland remaining, the Cumberland Plain is so important to protect,” he said.

“Large remnant trees like the ones we discovered on this property provide natural hollows to shelter native animals like owls, parrots, possums and bats.”

The group worked to fence trees to stop ringbarking by horses and worked to reverse the impact of past damage to the trees.

“This work included loosening the soil with compressed air to reverse the compaction caused by years of stock and mulching, which will ultimately restore soil carbon and improve soil health," he said. 

“This work will extend the life of these trees by hundreds of years.”

Razorback Environment Protection Society convenor Julie Sheppard said the project was crucial to protecting the natural vistas in the Menangle region.

“This is an extremely significant patch of native vegetation and it is fantastic to see landholders, commercial enterprise, the local community and government working together to ensure it is protected and preserved,” she said.

“The quality of the work has been outstanding.

“We are already seeing trees that were on the brink of dying are flowering again and setting the scene for a new generation.”

Mr Ridgeway said the trees had diameters from 1.5 to 1.92 metres.

“This by far surpasses the width of any other trees in the remaining patches of Cumberland Plain,” he said.

Mr Ridgeway encouraged other landholders to contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services for advice on managing native vegetation in their own backyard.

“If you are unsure of what vegetation you have on your property we have a team of experts who can provide advice and assistance in both native vegetation and weed management,” he said.

For more information contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.