First published in Issue 6 of The Warragul Citizen: 3 August 2012, Page 4.
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NATIONAL TREE DAY is a great cause – but why have one special day a year to plant trees? If you have got a spare weekend, why not get down to your local nursery, select some native plants and pop them in your backyard? A wattle tree in full bloom will give your garden just as much colour and aroma as a rose will, and eucalypts offer shade on hot summer days.
Native flora is perfectly adapted to Australia’s environmental conditions, so it is hardier than introduced species, a lot of which become weedy and take over your garden anyway! Native flora prevents salinity and erosion, takes in pollution and provides important resources to native mammals and birds. Planting native vegetation along creeks and streams can increase the health of the water and will prevent erosion and reduce the impacts of flooding as the trees soak up a surprising amount of water.
When planting natives in your backyard, it is important to select species that are indigenous to the area, not just Australia. Planting a gum tree is better than planting a pine tree, but if it’s from Western Australia you will still be decreasing the natural biodiversity of the area. Large trees such as silver wattles and swamp gums are adapted to the Warragul area, as are shrubs and smaller plants like Hop Goodenia, Kangaroo Apple, Snow Daisy Bush, Tasman Flax-Lily and native raspberry (Rubus parvifolius).
Go to the ‘Native Vegetation’ section of the Baw Baw Shire Council’s website to download the shire’s guide to the native vegetation of Warragul and surrounds.
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