Tree planting time in the West

If you’re feeling tired with winter work in the garden, spare a thought for HMAA Perth member Deryn Thorpe, who is working in the mid-west with the family landcare business Plantation and Landcare Services (PALS). They’ll plant more than 1.8 million seedling trees from June to August, all by hand, across the Wheatbelt in a work area stretching from Northampton to Esperance.

They are currently on a farm about 50km from Binnu in the mid-west, about 1.5 hours inland from the coastal city of Geraldton but are heading to a farm near Yuna shortly and will plant about 1.5 million trees on the two properties over a two-month period.

Trees are delivered every four days via semi-trailer 220,000 at a time, some travelling from wholesale nurseries in Albany (a 13- hour journey).

Deryn’s husband, Bill Davey, is the Principal of PALS and has worked in landcare for more than 40 years. The current project, which is planting native eucalyptus trees for carbon credits, is this year’s biggest seedling planting project in Western Australia.

The planting team of 13 includes Bill and Deryn, two Australian supervisors, an English leading hand, and workers from Argentina, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands and they are planting about 40,000 trees a day.

It’s been an unseasonably wet time in the mid-west. The area had 243mm of rain in the last month, more than double the previous year’s total, with more rain due next week. The wet weather is ideal for establishing seedling trees but challenging for the workers and their four-wheel-drive vehicles and trailers. Follow them on socials: @plantationandlandcare

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