By: Michael Fox

From Granby Street take Federation Track to Gertrude Petty Place

I joined Sandra, David and Marshall this morning to explore the headwaters of Jo’s Creek: above the timber bridge on the Federation Track. Our aim was to clear a large infestation of Ochna serrulata Mickey Mouse Plant which is currently flowering and getting ready to set seed.

This upper section of Jo’s Creek where the Federation Track crosses is quite special with Coin-spot Treeferns Cyathea cooperi thriving

Marshall clearing Ochna removed with Treepopper

along the sides of the gully even in the very dry weather. When we have good rain the many rock pools fill up and the gully is alive with birds you don’t find in more open forest areas.

Working together we cleared a large area of Ochna, Umbrella Trees Schefflera actinophylla, Lantana Lantana camara and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus. Some larger Umbrella Trees had to be cut and poisoned however most Ochna

Sandra (left) and David

was pulled out roots and all with the Treepopper. The Asparagus Fern was lifted out whole with two-pronged hoes.

Still plenty of weeds to be cleared but a good morning’s work so we head home. On the way I show David how to wash his hands with “bush soap” made from leaves of the Soapy Ash Alphitonia excelsa.

“I’m out in the bush and still have to wash my hands!”