4 June, 2024

100 new trees in Esk

Nearly 100 new koala trees have been planted in Esk by volunteers aiming to replace koala corridors that have been destroyed by development.

Volunteers put in hours of work to reach their goal.
Volunteers put in hours of work to reach their goal.

The trees were planted on May 25, with rainy weather and the Esk Show not stopping a core group of volunteers from Care4esK to achieve their goal of 100 trees in the Sandy Creek corridor.

The organisation’s president, Darren Bate, said the group was “so excited” on the approval to plant these trees in that area, to help restore koala habitat.

“Our goal is to keep people aware and appreciative of wildlife and fauna… that’s what we advocate for: supporting wildlife, especially our precious endangered koalas,” he said.

Among the volunteers who were able to make an appearance was Somerset Mayor Jason Wendt, who Mr Bate called “a great help”.

“Jason was an incredible help and we are so appreciative of him turning up and lending a hand.

“He’s a real country boy so he knew to get in there and got a good amount of trees in the ground, making our jobs somewhat easier.”

The trees were planted in a vacant lot owned by council, and due to various factors was not suited for residential development.

Car4esK earmarked the area, looking to fill in existing koala corridors that have been broken up by developments.

Of the trees planted, 80 per cent were Blue Gum trees (known to be koala’s preferred type), with the remaining 20 per cent being a mixture of Swamp Mahogany and Tallowwood.

“These trees are all naturally occurring and we know they are the koalas’ preferred food for this area,” Mr Bate said.

“Putting back native trees of the region gives them the best opportunity of settling and growing.”

The newly planted trees should be usable by koalas in 10 to 15 years, under ideal conditions.

This is the second year Care4esK has undertaken these plantations, having now planted 300 trees all along koala corridors in Esk.

The Koala Food Tree planting is part of the organisation’s Koala Health and Rehabilitation Esk Somerset (KHaRES) Project, which receives grant funding from the Commonwealth Government.

The Project is a collaboration between Care4esK, Australian Earth Laws Alliance, Detection Dogs for Conservation, and in partnership with Somerset Regional Council.

Somerset Mayor Jason Wendt lending a hand.
Somerset Mayor Jason Wendt lending a hand.

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