Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Maldon Urban Landcare Inc. (MULGA)

urn-heath

Urn Heath (Melichrus urceolatus), photo by Robert MacRae

Contact: Bev Phillips Email: phillips1bev@gmail.com

The Maldon Urban Landcare group (MULGA) was established in 1992, making it one of Victoria’s pioneer urban Landcare groups.  Our main objective is to care for and preserve the natural environment in the Maldon area.  We carry out weed control and revegetation activities, mostly in the Maldon Historic Reserve.

Exclusion plots

MULGA obtained grants between 1993 and 2006 to establish 11 small fenced exclosures in parts of the Maldon Historic Reserve, to protect both the existing native vegetation and future natural regeneration from damage by animals, particularly rabbits.  In 2015 photograph albums were uncovered in MULGA’s archives, and which provided some limited information about the exclosures, however the few MULGA members closely involved in the past exclosure work are no longer here to provide more details.  Consequently, significant time and effort by current MULGA members was contributed to locate each exclosure.  A plant identification day, attended by a number of MULGA members, was then held in September 2015, where each exclosure was visited and photographed and a plant identification list for each exclosure was made by Frances Cincotta, from Newstead Natives. The data and location for the 11 fenced exclosures are now entered on the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.

Yam-daisy (Microseris walteri)

Yam-daisy (Microseris walteri), photo by Robert MacRae

A map showing the location of the 11 exclosures can be found by CLICKING HERE.

For the GPS location for each exclosure CLICK HERE.

Click on a link below to find the plant identification list for each exclosure:

  1. South German 1
  2. South German 2
  3. South German 3
  4. Wattle Gully
  5. Phillips Track 1
  6. Phillips Track 2
  7. Nuggetty 1
  8. Nuggetty 2
  9. Nuggetty 3
  10. Mt. Moorul 1
  11. Mt. Moorul 2

Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora), estimated age 530 years, Bill Woodfull Reserve, Maldon (photo Frances Cincotta)

Pre-1852 original indigenous trees in Maldon

The primary objectives of this project conducted by MULGA in 2017 were to obtain detailed records for original indigenous trees that were growing before 1852 (pre-European settlement) in Maldon, and to achieve long-term protection for these trees under the Mt. Alexander Shire Council Planning Scheme, or an appropriate alternative scheme.  The large, old indigenous eucalypt trees still surviving in the township of Maldon are of significant environmental and historical significance, and are rare examples of pre-European settlement vegetation in an urban setting.

Initial work for this project was carried out by the late Wendy French in 2009-2010.  In early 2017, MULGA members, assisted by Frances Cincotta from Newstead Natives, conducted a detailed survey of trees with a circumference of at least 1815mm (using formula described below in reverse for trees at least 165 years old), measured at a height of 1.3m (breast height, BH).  Sites surveyed were the Maldon Primary School, Maldon Hospital, Bill Woodfull Reserve, the Maldon Police Lockup land and St. Brigid’s Catholic Church.  In addition two trees on a private property and four roadside trees were surveyed.  The data recorded were the species, GPS location, circumference at 1.3m, and a photograph was taken.  The tree diameter at BH over bark (DBHOB) was calculated by circumference/3.14.  An average growth rate of 3.5mm1 was used for all species recorded and the estimated age was calculated by DBHOB/3.5.

Of the 61 pre-1852 original eucalypt trees recorded on public and private land in Maldon, 64% are Eucalyptus microcarpa (Grey Box); there are 8 Eucalyptus goniocalyx (Long-leaved Box), 8 Eucalyptus polyanthemos subsp. vestita (Red Box) and 3 Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box).  The recorded trees are estimated to be aged between 175 and 530 years old; 49 trees are estimated to be 200-399 years old and there are 3 trees estimated to be aged 400-499 years and one tree 530 years. This means that 80% of the trees are estimated to have started growing between the years of 1618 and 1817.

In addition, MULGA members surveyed 36 pre-1852 eucalypt trees on parts of the Maldon Historic Reserve – the lower slopes of Anzac Hill, Pond Drive, and part of The Butts at the base of Mt. Tarrengower.  The species recorded are Grey Box (50%), Yellow Box (28%), Red Box (17%) and one tree each of Long-leaved Box and Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gum).  All of these trees, estimated to be between 190 and 645 years old, are protected in the Maldon Historic Reserve, which is managed by Parks Victoria.

The data and location for all 97 eucalypts are now entered on the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.

CLICK HERE to access the data table for all of the pre-1852 eucalypts. CLICK HERE and HERE to access two maps which show the location of all of the pre-1852 eucalypts recorded.  There is also a brochure, Living Treasures, available in the Maldon Visitors Information Centre, which includes information and a map for some of the pre-1852 trees.

References

  1. ECC (2001) Box-Ironbark Forests & Woodlands Investigation. Final Report. Environment Conservation Council, Melbourne.
  2. DELWP (2016) Biodiversity Interactive Map – 1750 EVCs. Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, Melbourne.