Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Scotch College boys flex their muscles

On August 22nd Cottesloe Coastcare volunteers were pleased to be joined by sixteen Year 8 students from Scotch College and their teachers, Lisa Evans and Dan Quinlivan. There was lots of work to do at Grant Marine Park in North Cottesloe. The recent rain has been great for the local plants but the weeds are also growing rapidly, so there was plenty of hand weeding to do.

(click on photo to enlarge)

On some exposed areas on the west side of the secondary dune the native plants are only growing slowly. We placed appropriate brush material on the slopes in an effort to stop people walking there and eroding the area further and to give the small plants some wind protection.

Town of Cottesloe mulches its tree prunings and this material is useful as a weed supressing agent, it helps to keep the roots of the plants cooler in summer and reduces moisture loss. Mulch also lets people know that the area is being cared for, we hope that this will encourage pedestrians and their dogs to walk on the paths.

Many thanks to all the boys for their hard work and interest in supporting the work of Cottesloe Coastcare. We have appreciated students from Scotch College helping us for about 8 years. Thanks also to Mr Quinlivan and Ms Evans for organising the working bee. We look forward to your next visit!

Friday, August 10, 2007

To bag or not to bag?

To bag or not to bag - this is the question we ask ourselves each time we plant seedlings at our foreshore project sites. After ten years of experience in our efforts for good plant survival results, the volunteers of Cottesloe Coastcare have learnt about some of the pros and cons of using plant guards.

In a nutshell: we have learnt that plant guards are sometimes required but that weed removal followed by early winter planting gives us the best plant survival results.

We have found that guards are useful:

  • when rabbits are present
  • sometimes to mark out a revegetated area

And guards are not useful if they are:

  • used in shifting sand

  • not well installed

  • not maintained regularly

  • leading to vandalism

  • left on the plants for too long

If you are interested in our experiences click here to read the full article. Included are some website links with further observations.

Also included is a precis of a science research paper by Shane Turner and Bernard McLean of Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Perth, WA; 'Optimisation of Greenstock Survival for Restoration of Bold Park'.The study concerns a re-vegetation programme (2002 - 2005), to evaluate site conditions, planting techniques, planting time impacts, the impact of tree guards and weed control on greenstock establishment.

We would appreciate comments from others willing to share their 'bagging' experiences with us. Please add your comment to the blog or email us at:


August 29th -Richard sent this photo of a Banksia which was left in its tree guard for many years!! You will see a note from Richard about the 'to bag or not to bag' question in 'comments'.


Further on the subject of the pros and cons of plant guards. I received the email and photos below on 30th November 2009.

Subject FW: Snake hazard from tree guards

I have wondered about the purpose of the 12 holes in the plastic tree guards. I doubt if they are needed in our climate for reducing humidity. In this case they have killed a dugite.Anyone know of other cases ? It's the first I've seen. Should we use guards without holes ? James

Subject: Snake Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2009 08:52:05 +0800
Hello James, Attached are four photos that I took of the snake. We measured it yesterday when we took the photos. It was hard to get an exact measurement as it was pretty stiff, but somewhere between 49 and 52 cm long Two photos are from outside the plastic bag, and two inside. Richard