By Tracey Matthies
MORE than 60,000 native trees have been planted at the head of the Lang Lang River by an environmental not-for-profit group.
Greenfleet said it had planted the trees over the last four years on a 66-hectare property it owns with some of the early trees now standing eight metres tall.
Greenfleet said its reforestation projects were designed to replicate and rebuild native ecosystems, bringing back balance to the land and preserving biodiversity.
The group employed tree planting contractors from South Gippsland’s Envirogain to plant the 60,000 native trees.
Wholesale plant nursery, Smolders Revegetation, based in Fish Creek, supplied the seedlings for multiple plantings at Wurneet Laang Laang.
Greenfleet has planted more than 30 different mixed native species at the site, including Eucalyptus globulus (a food source for koalas and Swift Parrots), vulnerable Eucalyptus strzelecki, which is endemic to the Strzelecki Ranges, and Eucalyptus regnans, which is found in some of the highest carbon-sequestering wet forests in the world.
As Greenfleet’s native forest in Gippsland takes shape, it is not only sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, but also attracting native wildlife back into the area and providing vital habitat.
Strzelecki Koalas have been found living in the three-year-old trees on the property.
A spokesperson said it was incredible to see wildlife using the trees as habitat only a few years after the trees were planted.
The forest was also becoming an excellent place for bird watching, as the trees were providing habitat for native birds such as the Yellow-faced Honeyeater and Grey Fantail.
The trees were having immense benefits for the water quality on the property, the spokesperson said. As part of the Lang Lang River that is located on the property, native frogs are calling the dams on the property home and there are now native reeds and ferns growing back.
Due to the mix of native plant species and high rainfall in Gippsland, it is considered a high carbon yield area.
Over its lifetime, the Wurneet Laang Laang forest will capture over 91,000 tonnes of CO2-e. That is the equivalent of removing more than 21,300 average-sized cars from the road for a whole year.
For more information on Greenfleet’s work at Wurneet Laang Laang, visit greenfleet.org.au/Our-forests/Planting-Sites/Wurneet-Laang-Laang.