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Revegetation to combat tree decline in the Midlands and Derwent Valley Lowlands of Tasmania: Practices for improved plant establishment


  • Dugald C. Close,

  • Neil J. Davidson

  • This paper is based on research currently being carried out by Dugald C. Close from the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Production Forestry (Private Bag 252–12, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Tel. 61-3 62 267991, Email: and Neil J. Davidson from the School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania (Private Bag 252–55, Hobart, TAS, 7001, The survey was motivated by a need to optimize revegetation success on sites affected by rural tree decline.


Summary The results of site assessment and information survey of 13 plantings established between 1995 and 2000 from the Tasmanian Midlands and Derwent Valley Lowlands are presented. Establishment success of tubestock plantings ranged from 2 to 100% and that of direct seeding from 860 to 20 000 seedlings/ha. Successful establishment of tubestock and direct seeding was associated with first year watering and good rains, respectively. Browsing damage was evident in direct seeded plots with eucalypts most affected and acacias and She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata) least affected. Treeguards appeared to prevent browsing of tubestock, but those poorly constructed by inexperienced planters tended to collapse and smother seedlings. Larger seedlings appeared to exhibit better survival and growth than smaller seedlings under conditions of drought. While only two sites were mounded, mounding appeared superior over ripping as a site preparation technique, particularly where ripping on heavy, black cracking clays induces cracking, drying of the soil profile and seedling mortality when planted too close to rip lines. Recommendations are listed for best practice establishment techniques based on the site assessment and survey results. Of the recommendations, the requirement for postplanting weed control and the benefits of detailed records of plantings are emphasized. Most plantings surveyed would have benefited from postplanting weed control and it is suggested that this has been a major deficiency in previous revegetation programs. Furthermore, there has been little accountability of the success of projects undertaken. Improved record keeping would benefit landholders and particularly extension officers and researchers in the industry.