Beechmont Windabout Rd

Weeks beginning 9/05/16, 16/05/16, 23/05/16

Beechmont

The World As I Am returned to Beechmont, contracted to the Scenic Rim Council. Over these 3 weeks, 3 separate zones have been the main focus of works on this beautiful mountain. Firstly, the Windabout Rd Reserve site with the assistance of the Green Army. Nell Scott Park and the revegetation site west of Beechmont State School.

Within the Windabout Reserve a further 3 sites were identified as priority habitats. Two of three zones had the assistance of the Green Army which proved to be a contributing factor to the success of the outcome.

Zone 1 and 2 consisted of site preparation for the planting of native vegetation. Zone 1 consisted of mostly herbaceous weeds. Previous works must have included blanket spraying using Glyphosate which would have killed everything but left the ground exposed. With a rich source of weed seed bank within the soil and no follow up work or planting, this was always going to result in the same weed species growing back. And it did.

 

But this time, after site preparation, follow up plantings were implemented, with mulch spread to supress the weeds and allow the native species to have a head start. Assisted revegetation is required in the zone as the herbaceous weeds will return but with consent monitoring and weed control, this site has every chance to regenerate. The World As I Am is tasked to make this happen.

Zone 2 is the next zone to benefit from constructive regeneration. To date, the site has been prepared and almost ready for planting. This site consisted of herbaceous weeds such as cobblers pegs, Crofton weed, Mist Flower predominantly, but also contain a vast number of woody weeds, primarily Easter Cassia, Lantana and Broad Leafed Privet. Most of this zone has been cleared but after discussions with Beechmont Landcare Group, they presented that their organisation would like to play a major role in the rehabilitation of this zone, incorporating specialised techniques which was very welcoming. So now the community is also involved. Couldn’t be happier.

 

Zone 3 is ongoing. This zone contains a Privet infestation so dense that one could look at it and think… where the hell do I start. With density consistent with 100 stems per metre square of Privet at all stages of maturity. But surprisingly, native species within this habitat is consistent. Generally, 1 per 2 or 3 metres square. Although this habitat is dominated by weeds at a ratio of 300 to 1, by removing the Privet threat and allowing the native species to establish, it is possible that this zone can regenerate without constructive revegetation.

This site will be monitored over the next few months to determine to best approach but I am confident that assisted regeneration will be the primary solution for this zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burleigh Heads National Park - Landslip Site

Week of 25/04/16

Final works at the Scaling landslip site at Burleigh Heads National Park.

This week was about removing all weed species within the revegetation zone. Because The World As I Am (TWAIA) has had the opportunity to regularly treat this site all weed species were juvenile, greatly reducing the seed bank within the soil.

TWAIA began in August of 2015 which included planting, mulching, watering and weed control.

The outcome is awesome. TWAIA has been able to manage this site from beginning to end and the results can be seen in the images. The integrity of the bank is secure. The Project was very successful.

Below are the before and afters

Burleigh Heads National Park - Asparagus Fern

Week beginning 02/05/16

Burleigh Heads National Park -

The World As I Am returned to Burleigh Heads National Park southern entrance to continue works on the Asparagus fern smothering all native species throughout the understorey.

As this was the final treatment for this particular project, secondary (follow up) work was implemented in all previously treated zones to eradicate any Asparagus fern recruitment, and there was plenty of it. Unfortunately, the seed bank contained within these soils are strong and continual secondary work is required to prevent the Asparagus fern from taking a strangle hold within the understorey again.

With the assistance on the Burleigh Heads National Park Volunteer Group (BHNPVG) we are hoping that this is achievable.

With the secondary work completed, we continued with the primary works pushing into the parks as far as possible within the timeframe. Again using the crowning technique to ensure no native species were effected by herbicides.

It has been an honour to work the Burleigh branch of QPWS. Throughout this financial year we have achieved many great things. Eradicating the Dutchman’s Pipe threat at the summit of the headland, allowing the Richmond Bird Winged Butterfly to reproduce without then threat of this killer vine. Securing the integrity of the bank, in the eastern portion of the park where the landslip closed the walking trail for 6 months, and the Asparagus Fern along the southern portion of the park, proving that even with little resources, much can be achieved in a short amount of time.

Burleigh Heads National Park - Dutchman's Pipe Vine

Week Beginning the 25/04/16

Works continues at Burleigh Heads National Park at the summit of the headland targeting Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia elegans), working in the same areas previously treated.

With all the parent plants already removed, this week’s project was to complete secondary works by removing the recruitment that had germinated since the previous visit. And there was plenty of recruitment.

There were four main locations where the Dutchman’s Pipe contained high density of juveniles. In one of these areas we were able to use foliar spray with glyphosate at industry standard, as the presence of native species was non-existent. The remaining areas had to be manually removed as native regeneration was high in density.

Outside these four zones, Dutchman’s Pipe recruitment were a low the medium densities. We were able to treat the whole site in the allocated time.

During the treatment is was great to see the Richmond Bird Winged Butterfly on site with the knowledge that this season, no caterpillars would die as a result of the Dutchman’s Pipe.

Beechmont - Windabout Rd Reserve

Week beginning 18/04/16

Beechmont – Windabout Rd Reserve.

The World As I Am returned to Windabout Rd Reserve starting on the southern portion. With the assistance of the Green Army we were to treat the allocated sites prior to planting. These zones consisted mostly of Cobblers Pegs and juvenile Privet.

To begin with The World As I Am conducted a workshop explaining the characteristics of Moth Vine, how it effects the natural environment and treatment techniques.

While the Green Army was preparing for the day, all native vegetation within the planting zones were tagged to prevent any of these natives sprayed by mistake. The Green Army then stepped down the Cobblers Pegs to prevent drift from the application. Herbicides used in this zone were glyphosate and metsulfuron methyl at industry standard and a dye to mark areas previously sprayed.

Anyone not assisting with the herbicide application began manual removal of Privet in a zone west of the planting area. These Privet were juveniles, up to a year old and given the volcanic soil were easy to remove.

Once the planting area was treated the Green Army were spilt into two groups. One continued on the Privet, the other joined me to treat Moth Vine. The Moth vine was treated using the cut, scrape and paint technique. There were plenty present within that zone. Pods were collected and removed from site.

The rest of the week we moved to the North Western portion of this reserve where Privet was the main target. The density was extremely high, mostly under 2 years old. Hand removal and cut and stump were the techniques implemented in this zone. Some chainsaw work was required on the mature species.

And then there was the Rubus… Wild raspberry, what a nightmare. Trying to work under a thicket of Rubus was… challenging. But the job was done, with a great result. The native regeneration now has a chance to take back their eco system. They will require assistance but it’s a start.

Works continue on this site in couple of weeks.

Burleigh Heads National Park - Asparagus Fern Control

Week beginning 03/04/16 to 18/04/16

Burleigh Heads National Park -

The World As I Am returned to Burleigh Heads National Park southern entrance to continue treating the Asparagus fern growing parallel to the walking track.

 

Work began with follow up spot spraying in the previously treated areas. Asparagus fern juveniles had germinated in the time between treatments. This was undertaken first thing in the morning while the wind was calm to prevent any off target damage.

 

There was also a portion of the treatment zone that was a complete monoculture of Asparagus ferns so this area was blanket sprayed as there was no threat of off target species being effected. This was implemented more so because of time restraints and given the lack of environmental impact, it was justified.

 

Apart from the areas mentioned above, the rest was crowned. With the assistance of Josh the Park Ranger, we continue along the track heading east towards the treated areas completed last year. We are making good progress and I am happy with the result so far.

 

The work is getting plenty of attention, many visitors to the park asking what we are doing and why. They leave knowing what Asparagus fern is, why it is such a problem weed have how it best control it. Win Win.

 

Work will continue in the zone over the next couple of weeks.

Burleigh Heads National Park - Landslip Site

Week Beginning 04/04/16

Burleigh Heads National Park - Landslip Site

Upon returning to this site for the first time in months, the native regeneration was extremely impressive on the upper slop. The site is a great example of how successful constructive regeneration can benefit an ecosystem. The native species have taken a strangle hold of this landslip site, suppressing the weeds, which is so great to see given the weed seedbank within the soil. Within the exposed areas weeds are present but every visit requires less time allocated to the site. The continual treatment of this site prevents weeds species from removing valuable nutrients and moisture from the soil, allowing the native species to thrive. The perfect example of what follow up works achieve.

All Asteraceae weeds present on site are now at a minimum compared with their presence 3 months ago. Dominate weed species have reduced to Coral Berry and Cobbers pegs but even these are restricted to exposed areas which each treatment allows native growing to replace and suppress these weed species. There are still plenty of other weed species on site but with constant maintenance, all have been destroyed before the seeding cycle.

This week we return for the final treatment for this financial year. As the weather cools the weeds growth reduces until Spring.

The World As I Am would like to thank Henry the Senior Ranger and the rangers from the Burleigh Heads division for allowing us to continue follow up work on this project. This is what revegetation works is about. Successful outcome, from beginning to end.

 

Windabout Dr Reserve

 

Week beginning 11/04/16.

Works began at the Windabout Dr Reserve on Beechmont. On the first day I spent about an hour surveying the southern portion, to understand the eco system and identify the weed species present and the best approach to ensure the best outcome given the days allocated to this site.

This site is a fruit bowl of weed species, but Broad Leafed Privet dominated the canopy, mid and understorey in most ecosystems within this reserve.

I was tasked to begin works in two sections of this reserve. One in the southern portion and the other in the North Western section. As the gradient undulates south north, we begin on the Southern Eastern boundary heading north treating all mature Privet, which was the seed source for much of this reserve. Frilling was the technique implemented with some cut and paint work on the smaller species.

Prior to beginning the second ecosystem, the Parks section of Scenic Rim organised two Green Army teams to assist me with the treatment of Privet. Again, it was the dominate species. With these teams, we focused on the habitat in the North Western portion of the park. The Green Army removed Privet in the understorey, while The World As I Am treated the mid and canopy species.

It was great to see the diligence of the teams. If they weren’t sure what they were about to remove, whether to was a weed or a native species they would ask. Guioa semiglauca was present within this eco system and to a beginner, can be easily confused with Privet. They asked plenty of questions about techniques and plant ID which we were more than happy to pass on.

This habitat will not require any constructive revegetation as native regeneration is present within the understorey, but needs some assistance in controlling the weeds as there is a healthy presence of seed bank within the soil. I am confident that the areas we have worked in will regenerate naturally with consistent secondary work.

Work in this reserve will continue on Monday the 18/04/16

 

Withern Reserve

Week beginning 04/04/16.

Works began at the Withern Reserve on the corner of Limerick Dr and Upper Coomera Rd. Upon first site inspection it was obvious that this site required long term strategies as the weed species present were numerous. Garden escapees.

In the canopy, Chinese Celtis was the dominate species with some Camphor Laurel present as well. The World As I Am was tasked to eradicate them. Because this site has so many different varieties of weeds species throughout the understorey is was important not the clutter this understorey with debris from fallen Celtis trees.

The World AS I am was also tasked to remove every weed species within 10m on the adjoining property to the west. This included canopy, mid and understorey species along with vines.

Every weed present identified in this reserve was also present in the properties west, within this catchment line. Seed source will be ever present unless property owners manage their weed problem. Unfortunately, this reserve is only 50ms away from the Coomera river. All weeds present in this reserve have been feeding the river system.

Any weed species small enough to use loppers were cut and painted. The best technique, given this ecosystem was to frill mature trees, which will allow follow up work within the understorey.

These species include: Easter Cassia, Lantana, Creeping Lantana, Smooth Leafed Seanna, Mimosa Lily, Coral Berry, Dutchman’s Pipe, Moth Vine, Tabaco Plant, Devils Fig, Ground Asparagus fern, Mist flower, Crofton Weed, Cobblers Pegs.

 

Lions Park Canungra

Week beginning 28/03/16.

 

First project with the Scenic Rim council. Lions Park Canungra. Target species were Castor Oil on the SW bank of Canungra Creek where this weed has dominated this eco system for years. Dense, the site was a monoculture excluding the varieties of Ipomoea and Glycine vines that climbed through the canopy.

It was apparent within the first 10 minutes that loppers and folding saw weren’t going to cut it for this site. These Castor Oil were 10m tall with some basals the width of dinner plates. It was two days of intense chainsaw work. It was hard going as the vines prevented the Castor Oil from falling, each plant had to be cut and manually separated.

Along the creek bank the Castor oil was leaning over the water. Dragging the Castor oil out of the creek and over the bank with vines entangled throughout the branches was extremely taxing. Would put it up there with some of the hardest labour to date.

But the end result was great. Seed source as been removed. Seed bank on the other hand… very present. Been seeding for years, more than ten. Juveniles present in high density and will be for a very long time. This site will require constant maintenance.

Recommended that treatment of this site begins no later than February each year to prevent seed dispersal. Given the lack of native species foliar spray is ideal but surveying this site prior to treatment is also recommended. This site would benefit with conservation revegetation. Seedlings planted on this site, particularly pioneer species to form a canopy would prevent or reduce the amount of Castor Oil seeds from germinating. As for the banks, riparian species such as Lomandra longifolia, L hystrix, Melaluleuca viminalis, Lophostemon confertus, Ficus coronata etc would really contribute to the integrity of the bank.

Further information on the Castor Oil Plant can be found at the following link:

http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedident.cgi?tpl=plant.tpl&card=S05