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Seed harvest to offset impact of Southern Feeder Road on native trees

By December 15, 2020December 17th, 2020News, trees

Seeds are being harvested from native trees that will be removed to make way for Stage 4 of the Southern Feeder Road, which will run from Anson Street to Pinnacle Road.

Orange City Council has engaged horticulturist Bill Josh of Habitat Connect to harvest the seeds and propagate trees into advanced tube stock to be planted nearby once the road is finished.

More trees will be planted at other sites around Orange to increase the native tree population in the area.

BRANCHING OUT: Bill Josh gathers seed pods from fallen branches.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the propagation exercise was a condition of its approval. The Review of Environmental Factors into the project identified endemic species that were part of the Tablelands Snow Gum Woodlands Ecologically Endangered Community.

“Council wanted to ensure the impacts of the project on the environment were properly considered and adequate measures were taken to mitigate the effect of the Southern Feeder Road on these native tree species,” Councillor Kidd said.

Mr Josh will propagate trees such as Apple Box (Eucalyptus bridgesiana) and Ribbon Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis).

He has been propagating native grasses, flowers and trees in the district for decades and did the same thing with another vulnerable species, the Black Gum (Eucalyptus aggregata), at Perthville for Bathurst Regional Council.

Mr Josh has been harvesting the local seeds for the last couple of weeks and will continue to gather seeds until Stage 4 gets underway. He expects to collect thousands of seeds.

Find out more in ‘The Orange Podcast.’

Scroll thru to 8:30 to hear how Bill Josh harvests seeds.

“The best time to harvest the seeds is after a storm or a strong wind when the branches have been blown off, you can just go and collect them off the ground,” he said.

“I like to harvest them when the seed pods are ready to go and take them back to my nursery where I allow them to dry out slowly. I get a lot more success with germination that way.”

Initially Mr Josh will propagate 100 trees in a process that will take about 12 months.

The remainder of the seeds will be stored and used for future council projects throughout the Orange area.



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