GREEN GOALS: Chris Halliday on his property at Gladstone, near Kempsey.Worried by the prospect of all the trees in his paddocks dying off, beef producer Chris Halliday resolved to do something about it on his property at Gladstone, near Kempsey.
Along with 10 other Lower Macleay landholders he became involved in a four-year Landcare project to revegetate 10 hectares of floodplain farmland.
Since late 2012 he has fenced off two “swamp” or wetland areas on his paddocks, weeded, sprayed, mowed, planted about 1200 trees, put guards around and watered them and watched them grow – some to more than four metres in height.
Shortly after he planted the latest batch of trees his farm had the worst frost the area had experienced in 30 or 40 years, he said, which killed some and damaged others, but most survived and are now powering ahead.
The trees he has planted are all native to the area – mostly swamp oaks (Casuarina glauca) and paperbarks (Melaleuca quinquenervia).
The paperbarks are planted into the wettest areas, with the swamp oaks in slightly drier spots.
All the swamp oaks planted were propagated from seeds from a dying tree on the property.
And it was watching trees keeling over and not being naturally replaced that got Chris involved in revegetation.
He believes many of the same species of native trees on properties all around the Gladstone and Smithtown area are around 100 years old and are dying from old age, but because cattle are grazed around them they are not regenerating, as any new trees are chewed off or trampled by the animals.
Project plans to revegetate 10 hectares of floodplain Chris Halliday
Chris Halliday’s property near Gladstone
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