Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Our majestic paddock trees

Posted on 23 September, 2015 by Connecting Country

Connecting Country Works Crew Member, Ned Brook, shares his love to our mighty paddock trees…

I noticed you out of the corner of my eye. I wasn’t supposed to be looking for you, we were meant to have our attentions on a malfunctioning drainage pipe, but I saw you all the same.

I saw you as we were driving over toward Maldon. The area surrounded on three sides with metamorphic mountains and a depression in between. This is where I found you.

I turned, after I caught a glimpse of you, and witnessed your full majesty. Standing there, tall and strong, healthy. A Yellow box. A beacon to birds and wildlife all around you. I was so taken back by you that I couldn’t concentrate on the pipe.

Holy Goat Cheese and Sutton Grange Organic Farm

Big Yellow

I thought to myself, you stand there, tall and magnificent, providing invaluable services to all around you. To the farmer who relies on you to keep that troublesome water table down below. To the birds who you feed, in their thousands, that visit you every year. To the koalas, possums, phascogales who you protect. Not to mention the teeming insects that live within and use your trunk and bark as a home.

It impressed me how you stand and provide this service with little need or thanks. But you’re beyond that aren’t you, you’ve been here far longer than any of us.

But there is something you need, that we can help with. You have a few friends in the paddock with you, some equally aged and wise old things that I’m sure you converse with regularly. But what about the young ones? Where are your children? Who’s there to take up the reigns when you finally decide to take a final rest? What you need is a fence.

We’ve helped out some brothers and sisters of yours, in a special paddock over in Sutton Grange. We planted friends for them, young boisterous things that will settle down with age. And we fenced them in, to protect them from the wandering cattle and mischievous sheep. But we wouldn’t even need to do this for you. All you need is a fence, some room to grow, and you’d do the job yourself.

3 responses to “Our majestic paddock trees”

  1. Paul Hampton says:

    Lovely piece Ned. Concise and compelling. This is an issue that needs more attention, research, action before we lose them.

  2. Karoline Klein says:

    Hello Ned, Hello Graham,
    agree – much of our beautiful landscape relies on those old giants. As Ned says – ” all you need is a fence – some room to grow”. For paddocks where landholders may not want to give up too much of their land for larger revegetation areas, I have been thinking that a trial should be started to fence off plots downwind from the prevailing wind direction, perhaps 20 x 20 m and let nature “do the job istsself”. The right distance balancing spread of seed and closeness to the existing tree would be critical, as many young seedlings are negatively affected by the old dominating tree.

    Would be good to get a trial site up and going.

  3. Graham Connell says:

    this is a passion of mine to start to rejuvenate paddock trees
    very interested in this discussion have ideas on how to do it but would love to talk to like minded people on the best way to go about it

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