Join Griffith Mates for the Ochna Blitz Challenge!

Saturday 24 September 8am to 11am

Map

2016 National Tree Day planting

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Location: Junction of Geebung and Federation Tracks (behind green water reservoir)

We will do a walk through the National Tree Day planting and some light weeding then move onto the Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata.

The planting site is looking great with trees and vines planted in 2015 now flowering and producing seed. A Sickle Leaved Wattle Acacia falcata is already hosting caterpillars of the Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras butterfly.

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The caterpillar is protected by “Kropotkin” ants – Small Meat Ant Iridomyrmex sp. The ants provide protection in return for sugary fluids secreted by caterpillar. Imperial Hairstreaks will only return to breed where both caterpillar food plants and the ants are present.
Kropotkin is a reference to Russian biologist Peter Kropotkin who proposed a concept of evolution based on “mutual aid” between species helping species from ants to higher mammals survive.

The combination of rain and clearing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis means the Ochna is thriving and it is covered in flowers and seeds. However, the rain also means must easier to pull our either by hand or Treepopper.

 

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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!”