The Mighty Manna.

As well as the new trees in Bellbird Corner Reserve there are some fine old trees, one of which is a Manna Gum, Eucalyptus viminalis, growing beside the old road, and what a survivor it is. The first photo shows it in April 2005 with the upper story quite dead, but otherwise still very healthy.

Three years later, in April 2008, possibly in response to wind, most of the top story and part of the canopy came to earth.

This mighty old tree merely shrugged this calamity off and got on with living and growing. Sixteen years later, here is the trunk showing some of that growth.

Here is the trunk from the other side, measuring 7.5 metres circumference at chest height.

And here’s the tree standing proudly today, measuring twenty six metres tall.

Even More Tree Talk.

Twenty three years ago the Bellbird Corner Riverside Reserve was established, and rejuvenation of this formerly grazed land began with a day of tree planting. Since then, planting, weed control, and other improvements have continued, and at the present day this small reserve is a biodiversity oasis amidst the surrounding farmland. To illustrate the success of the re-vegetation that has occurred, in early 2012 a planting of one hundred and sixty local tree species took place. The tube stock were planted in lines where the grass had been sprayed to reduce competition, and were well watered in and protected with plastic tree guards.

A few months later a large flood occurred, and the planting was inundated by a metre of water flowing over the area, but the guards held up well, no plants were lost, and the ground received a deep soaking leading to exceptional growth thereafter. The following image shows the planting after twelve years, click to enlarge.

Two of the tree species planted were Eucalyptus viminalis, and bridgesiana,  trees native to the local environment but greatly reduced in occurrence. They have done exceptionally well, after twelve years of growth more than one tree was measured at eighteen metres tall, while two viminalis from the early plantings are taller still at twenty seven metres. The value of the bird habitat these trees have created is evident, with White-throated Treecreepers now resident, Crested Shrike-tits have been recorded gleaning under-bark food items on several occasions, Eastern Yellow Robins are always present, treetop birds are plentiful in the canopy, and an outstanding record has been of a Bassian Thrush foraging in the litter.