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It’s more than ’just’ planting trees - a forest update
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It’s more than ’just’ planting trees - a forest update

If you head 40 km west of Mansfield in Victoria, not far from Bonnie Doon, you’ll find one of Greenfleet’s growing forests. 

This year, this forest is celebrating 10 years since its establishment. 8,000 trees were planted across 7 ha on this private property in September 2009. The aim of this project was to return previously farmed land to native forests and, of course, offset carbon emissions while we did. Sara, the landholder and former Greenfleet CEO, is passionate about reducing the impacts of climate change. As a result, this project was about more than just planting trees.

Greenfleet aims to use tree species endemic to the area being planted. This project was no different using 12 different species from seeds collected on the property and the surrounding area. These included multiple species of Eucalypts, Acacias and the Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillita). 

Additionally, a lot of care went into the preparation of the site using traditional methods. At the time of planting, the soil was heavily compacted so ripping allowed moisture to return before the seedlings were planted. Ten years on, the site is doing really well. Eoghan from our forestry team recently paid the forest a visit and described the growth of the forest as “exceptional”. Some of the trees are now reaching more than 15 metres high. 

Before and after photos of a Greenfleet forest

One of the most moving benefits of our growing forests is an increase in biodiversity and this project does not disappoint. Several bird species have been spotted over the last ten years including Flame Robins, Crimson Rosellas, Grey Fantails and Blue Fairy Wrens.

Photo: Flame Robin, Crimson Rosella and Grey Fantail. All photos were taken on site by Greenfleet’s forestry team.

From left to right: Flame Robin, Crimson Rosella and Grey Fantail. All photos were taken on site by Greenfleet’s forestry team.

Eoghan filled us in on the different dietary habits of these birds. Small birds like the Flame Robin like to feast on insects which means they can generally be found in smaller trees and shrubs in the understorey where insects are more likely to be hiding. Larger birds like the Crimson Rosella are less fussy. They can be found higher up in the trees as their diets are more general. You can find them eating anything from insects to seeds, nuts and even the nectar from native flowers. 

Sara also recently spotted a koala in the forest, demonstrating how vital this restored native habitat is for our unique wildlife.

We can’t wait to continue watching this forest develop and for even more wildlife to call it home in the future. You can support projects like this by offsetting the emissions from your car, household or flights here: www.greenfleet.org.au/offset

Alternatively, if you’re interested in having your own land revegetated you can call and speak to a member of our forestry team on (+ 61 3) 9642 0570.

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