Project Delivery: Individual landholder
Contact: Peter Clifton (SWCC – Bunbury). Ph: 9724 2469. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: SWCC Sustainable Agriculture
Start Date: June 2014 End Date: October 2017
Site ID: SF05
Size Are Ha: 6
To demonstrate the value of local tree crops to a mixed farming system, identify which species are best suited to different soil types and conditions on the property, and identify what establishment techniques help to maximise tree survival and growth, and minimise duration of soil exposure to rain and wind.
‘We’re focusing on craft wood timber using a range of local species, many of which we have used in revegetation work over the last 10 years. While growing multiple species might be considered overly complex relative to the typical single eastern states species woodlot, we have been quite rigorous in our species selection and planting design. The trial will help understand the relationships between soil types and species selection, establishment and tree form. Survival rates can be quite low particularly on sandy soils, so we’re experimenting with establishment techniques. We’re interested to see how the woodlots benefit soil health.’ – David, participating farmer
This project will utilise eight local tree species with potential for high value timber: River Banksia, Western Sheoak, Wandoo, Powderbark Wandoo, WA Blackbutt, Jarrah, Rock Sheoak and Salmon Gum. They will be planted across four soil types over two years. Seven establishment treatments will be trialed along with a control (current practice):
- watering seedlings several times through the first summer,
- incorporation of soil wetter product at planting,
- mulching, and
- Each of the first three treatments combined with swales and without swales (furrow lining)
Survival and a visual assessment of growth and health will be monitored across species, soil types and establishment techniques.
Soil health will be compared between existing pastures and woodlots across the two dominant soil types – Earthworms and soil microbes will be monitored on deep yellow brown sands and yellow-brown loams. The Methodology will follow the Northern Rivers Soil Health Card.
Improving tree survival on drought-prone soils – Year One Results (uploaded 26 October 2016)
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