MID WINTER is a time of year when there isn’t quite enough food in our remaining patchwork forest to feed the resident wildlife. We can plant for many of the birds, but our furry fauna needs more cover to protect it from predators during periods when wider foraging is necessary.
Range residents who love their lawns will know all about bandicoots digging holes in search of worms and other tasty food. Bandicoots can ibe industrious in digging in the friable soil supporting fresh tubestock. Sometimes, digging and backfilling the planting hole and leaving it for a few days prior to planting may encourage the marauders to visit before the young tree goes in; not guaranteed but worth a try. Tree guards will help but bandicoots can be determined!
Hares and wallabies need more serious deterrents as they will nip the fresh growth off tubestock, strip bark from young trees and generally cause havoc in the revegetation, sometimes over a period of 2-3 years.
Protective guards are the only answer. These are commercially available or can be made from animal wire. 900mm wide mesh which can be purchased in 10m or longer rolls is effective bent into a circle of a suitable diameter and the edges held together with netting clips.
The tools required are wire cutters and a pair of pliers. 900 mm in height is enough to keep the average swamp wallaby off the trees.
Each guard is held in place with 2 stakes; 1.5m bamboo does a good job. It’s sufficiently sturdy to hammer into the soft ground around the tree and is of a diameter which can be threaded through the wire top and bottom to adequately secure it. Possums and probably rats are another challenge and have been enjoying an excellent citrus season.
There seem to have been enough mandarins and oranges around for us to eat, juice and make into marmalade as well as be enjoyed by the wildlife which peel the fruit with great efficiency.
Living with wildlife is a challenge but we do love it.
BARUNG NATIVE PLANT NURSERY Phone 5494 3151
Porters Lane Nursery opening times: Wednesday – Friday – 9am -3pm