Sunday, October 16, 2016

What's Happening?

Dear Readers,

Please do not assume that the lack of blog posts here lately is in any way a sign of a paucity of progress. The opposite in fact is the case and any evidence of slackness only comes from yours truly and not our very active committee.

So, what indeed has been happening?

Our Drouin Tree Walks Booklet
The information for ten walks has been prepared and checked. The walks have been trialed by several members. Helen Timbury Design, (Helen on Facebook), has started the design work and gratefully, Drouin Bendigo Bank and the Baw Baw Shire have contributed funds toward the production. Further funding to complete this project is imminent and work on fine tuning some of the data is underway.

Gardivalia Tree Walks
As part of the Gardivalia Festival that is currently in progress, The Friends of Drouin’s Trees has conducted one walk to date. Twelve passionate souls braved some fairly miserable weather but we enjoyed some of Drouin’s magnificent trees, parks and wetlands. Poetry was read, trees were measured, history was related, policy explained, wildlife spotted, etc.

Two further walks are planned – Town Centre, Thursday 20th October, meet at the Drouin Railway Station car park at 11am, and McNeilly Wetlands, Friday 27th October, meet at McNeilly Wetlands at 9am. If you would like join in the fun, meet some of these passionate, (tragic?), tree people, or simply find out more, please email Judy, (thegablesatdcsidotnetdotau) or Peter, (heyfieldwaresatwidebanddotnetdotau).

Working Bees
Our group has the support of the Baw Baw Shire to conduct some ‘low level’ working bees around the town. Presently we are concentrating on simply tidying up some areas by picking up rubbish and pulling a few obvious weeds. Our list of sites continues to grow – just like some of the weeds!

On-Site Meetings
On several occasions we have met with gardens/environmental staff from Baw Baw Shire and tree removal contractors to discuss the treatment of some vulnerable trees. These discussions have given us the opportunity to provide an alternative view to the complete removal of some of our wonderful specimens. As a result, some diseased trees or ‘high-risk’ trees have been converted to habitat trees rather than be cut down. This involves pruning or trimming to remove dangerous branches and to stabilize the tree. In some cases the tree is girdled with a chainsaw to stop further growth and the process of chain sawing extra hollows into the remaining trunk is being conducted.

Recently, three large giants in Binbeal Rd were treated in this way. Though now no longer alive, these three giants are still contributing to the environment and at least one possum and one duck family are grateful for that! (Photos by Gippy Tree Services)

Asset Mapping
The many hundreds of trees that The Friends of Drouin’s Trees have suggested as being significant have been identified, measured and GPS located in order to be placed on a Baw Baw Shire list of assets. Being listed in this way will hopefully provide some level of protection and preservation in the future - single trees, lines of trees and ‘polygons’ of trees have been identified.

Many other tasks, large and small are in hand, being attended to or waiting time for completion. Hopefully this summary gives some idea of the work being done. I’m reminded of the Michael Caine quote, “Be like a duck, all serene on the surface, paddling like h… underneath”.

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