Information supplied by Garry Kerr (Tarragal Landcare Group Member & project leader)
Over the past few months the Tarragal Landcare set have been busy completing the first of three enclosures in its moonah replacement program on private property. This initiative enjoys the whole hearted support of private landowners involved. It is intended to be an ongoing process year by year. The enclosures are a quarter acre, or 2,500 square metres (town house block size) and planted out randomly with moonah, and to a lesser extent she-oak, sweet bursaria, and kangaroo grass. Not as a forest, but as a grassy woodland. This is an endeavour to create a microcosm of the landscape of 1835. It is considered that with the removal of stock from the ground other native species may regenerate.
The earliest description of Cape Bridgewater is by Edward Henty who described it as ' Three thousand acres of rolling sheep hills, very lightly timbered and well covered with kangaroo grass. Captain Tierney, when sailing past in the Almora described it thus, 'It is covered with verdure, and trees growing on it to the edge of the cliff, not a forest appearance, but like that of a land cultivated or a gentleman's Demesne'. (This translates to parklike, or a grassy woodland)
We now know that those trees were she-oak and moonah. The she-oaks have not survived grazing, fence building and firewood collection. However there are remnant stands of the iconic moonah remaining on some properties. Some of these could be up to three and four hundred years old. They are gradually dying of old age and no seedlings survive stock grazing.
With the support of local tree grower the Tarragal Landcare are growing moonah trees and re establishing this important tree in our landscape. If you are interested in finding out more about the initiative you can contact Garry Kerr at email@example.com