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Eucalypts, bloodwoods, turpentines – seeing the forest and the trees

Most people who live on the North Coast realise that are forests are special, but many find it difficult to name many native trees. For the growing number of landholders who are no longer satisfied with calling everything a “gum tree” and who want to be able to tell an iron bark from a spotted gum or a pink bloodwood, Clarence Landcare has the answer with a number of workshops to show how to identify some of the common tree species in our area.

In conjunction with North Coast Local Land Services, Clarence Landcare has held the first in a series of native plant identification workshops.  The event was held at Tucabia Hall with expertise from local botanist Fig Forest and the Clarence Environment Centre’s resident plant guru John Edwards. The 20 workshop attendees learnt simple techniques to identify many of the common native trees in and around the Clarence Valley.

Fig Forest said at the event that the Clarence Valley local government area is a recognised hotspot for Eucalypt diversity with an impressive 63 native species known or recorded.

“Eucalypts are a defining feature of much of the Australian landscape. They often form an integral part of much of the local views we encounter and take for granted when travelling through our beautiful region.”

Eucalypts are the tallest growing flowering plants in the world and variability in climate, drought, fire and often poor soils, have over the millennia, shaped the conditions for the development of the diversity of Eucalyptus in this country. They provide important habitat for many unique forest dependent fauna that have co-evolved in the same often severe conditions.

Nigel Blake from North Coast Local Land Services said, “We are extremely lucky on the North Coast to live in such a diverse region and being able to recognise some of the more common species of trees greatly increases our enjoyment of the bush.

“That is the essence of Landcare, raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices and assisting landholders to protect and grow biodiversity on productive farms.

“Funding from the National Landcare Programme allows us to run events like this where local experts impart their knowledge for all those interested,” Nigel concluded.

Clarence Landcare coordinator, Susan Moore, who organised the event, is exceptionally pleased with the response to the workshop, saying, “Members from groups including Clarence Native Bees, Yuraygir Landcare, Diggers Camp DuneCare, Clarence Bushwalkers Group and Clarence Valley Birdos now know their way through the identification steps and can identify the different eucalypts in the Valley”

The workshop was over-subscribed and another workshop has been scheduled for late March. People who wish to attend the workshop should contact Clarence Landcare on 6643 5009

Media contact:           Nigel Blake, Senior Land Services Officer, Phone 6604 1113

Photo caption:           Participants at the recent Landcare eucalyptus identification workshop.