From little things, big things grow as trees are planted

NEIL FISHER

FOR 21 years Rockhampton families have been participating in National Tree Day.

And they are beginning to polish up their green thumbs again, as Sunday is National Tree Day and it provides one of best family outings of the year.

Since 1996 more than 3.8 million people have planted 23 million trees and plants

In Rockhampton the seeds were sown when a community event was held along the side of Frenchman's Creek at the base of Mount Archer.

This was strongly supported by the local community, the Berserker Wilderness Land Action Management Committee and the then Queensland National Parks and Wildlife being involved in the planting and rehabilitation of that section of the creek.

The success created by the plantings along many of the towns waterways planting has seen the re-establishing of many wildlife refuges, in particular projects like the rehabilitation and transformation of Moore's Creek near Stockland Rockhampton.

This has been a job well done, as this particular waterway was nothing more than a rubbish dump and a blot on Rockhampton's environment.

After four years of planting at Col Austin Park, 4000 trees have been planted. Now that's achievement! Col Austin Park is located between the major roadway, Moore's Creek Road, opposite the North Rockhampton Cemetery.

As the trees and under plantings along this waterway have matured it is again providing a habitat for the Little Red Fairy Wren, whose habitat had been almost completely destroyed throughout the city.

Other waterways that have been part of the National Tree Day plantings have been Frenchman's Creek 2000, Lakes Creek 2001 and Thozet Creek in 2002 and 2003.

For me National Tree Day is for the family something to look back on with pride at tall trees growing where there was nothing. So come and join me at the Rockhampton National Tree Day site on Frenchville Road (Just past Jard St) between 11:00 & 1:00pm Sunday.

Central Queensland National Tree Day locations include:

Capella, Primary Road is on between 9:00am & 11:00am.

Emerald, (Devonport Road) between 8:00am & 10:30am.

Frenchville Road, (Just past Jard St) between 11:00 & 1:00pm.

Gladstone (Joe Joseph Drive) between 9:00am & 12:00pm.

Gracemere, (Platen Street) is on between 9:00am & 11:00am.

Kemp Beach (Southern End) is on between 9:00am & 12:00am.

Mount Morgan, (The Number 7 Dam) is on between 11:00 & 1:00pm.

Rubyvale, (1605 Rubyvale Road) is on between 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

South Rockhampton, (Blackall Street) between 11:00am & 1:00pm.

Yeppoon, (Park Street) is on between 10:00am & 2:00pm.

Notes about the day for Volunteers:

Please wear appropriate clothing (hat, covered shoes, long sleeved shirt and long pants recommended) gloves and spades

A TREE TO LINE ROCKHAMPTON ROADS

At the moment a flowering tree in Fees St, North Rockhampton is creating a lot of interest. With golden dinner plate sized flowers, this tree is hard to miss.

This tree is called Deplanchea tetraphylla or the Golden Bouquet tree, the name coming from its large yellow flower heads, which can be up to one foot or 30cm across. Imagine if there were whole streets lined with tree, how colourful that would be. But at the moment there would only be a hand full of these trees growing in Rockhampton.

When in flower, the tree will attract many varieties of nectar-feeding birds and insects, which is a source of pride for any garden enthusiast. In its natural conditions, the Golden Bouquet tree can be found in the low-lying swampy coastal lowlands, almost to the ridges of the tropical mountains of North Queensland. In many areas of North Queensland, they will grow along the banks of creeks and rivers.

The trunk of this tree can also provide an interesting feature, as its bark is thick and corky and would provide an excellent habitat for epiphyte plants such as orchids and staghorns.

The Golden Bouquet tree can be a little slow to reach maturity, growing to around 8m high, the results are definitely worthwhile. I have heard reports of trees growing in natural conditions up to 20m high. As a juvenile plant, the foliage is quite out of proportion with most other small trees, with its very large elliptical leaves growing up to one foot or 30 cm long and almost as wide.



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