header SassafrasBirdsnest ferns and Syzygium floribundum Navbar


Actually we do very little wholesale revegetation of areas.  We mainly do regeneration with some propagation to help fill in the gaps or increase the species diversity.  We definitely do more regeneration work than propagation.  We very rarely buy in plants, I believe I have done that 3 times over the past decade.  Be a little bit careful if you do, most of species I've bought in I found growing on Sassafras somewhere afterwards, for example Red Cedar and Black Booyong.  The Red Cedar were from further up Mooral Creek, a known local provenance and then I went and found 2 self sown seedlings from somewhere local, possibley wind blown from a grove about 300 metres back up Mooral Creek.  Only a few weeks ago I found a self sown Sarcopteryx stipata, the Corduroy Tree, a 50cm seedling growing in amongst a towering grove of Ligustrum lucidum that I was busy exterminating.  It is another of the species I had bought in.

Our policy is if it's already here encourage it, unless it's privet, tobacco or lantana, or one of the other introduced weeds.

Fortunately we have a reasonably wide variety of plants already here.  Total number of identified local plant species is over 180.  There are still a number of unidentified species of all sizes.

The basic issue is the quantity and the age.  The quantity we try to help by helping those seedlings that are sprouting survive and those we cannot see many of we will propagate when we can.  Only time will fix the age problem.


Our primary weed species is the small leaf privet, followed by the large leaf privet and in the occasional frost free area, lantana.

We never spray, burn or bulldoze weeds, you would be amazed at what you will find underneath.  As an example, inside  privet, depending on where on Sassafras we are, some of the seedlings I have identified that we will regularly  find (as distinct from just occaisionally), are;

Acacia maidenii
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia irrorata
Alectryon subcinerus
Alphitonia excelsa
Breynia obiongifolia
Cordyline stricta
Diploglottis australis
Doryphora sassafras
Dysoxylum fraserianum
Ehretia acuminata
Guioa semiglauca
Mallotus philippensis
Melicope micrococca
Notelaea longifolia
Pittosporum multiflorum
Polyscias sambucifolius
Myrsine variabilis
Myrsine howittiana
Rhodamnia rubescens
Synoum glandulosum
Syzygium australe
Acmena smithii
Trema aspera                  And most if not all of the vines and smaller shrubs and ground covers recorded on Sassafras.

It is much much easier to encourage what is already there than start from scratch, then all you might want to do is a bit of redistribution, which I've done with Native Daphne, Hymenosporum flavum which is extremely common in places, moving a few seedlings to other locations, I've done the same with Sassafras, Doryphora sassafrasCryptocarya obovata is another species I have started to move seedlings of too, it seems to be moderately frost resistant which will help in reclaiming the  open areas we have along Stones Creek. When it does fruit it seems to be quite successful in producing seedlings.   Being a potential cover story tree and a fruit producing tree that to me is a win win.

From time to time I move seedlings that are in the way of new paths or that pop up in existing paths.


I try to grow local plants.  To be more technical, propagate local provenances, which is slightly different.

For instance, we could buy Red Cedars (which we know grew in abundance in the valley) from local nurseries and perhaps wind up with plants sourced from Tinonee or Dingo Creek catchments, they are local plants and they would be local plants too if they came from Kangaroo Valley on the South Coast of NSW, hundreds of kilometres away. On the other hand, to propagate a plant of local provenance would mean to propagate from stock you know to be truly local.  In the case of wind blown seed like Red Cedar can be that could mean within the same valley system or perhaps the next one.  Black Booyong is a good case in point, their seeds are heavey and helicopter down from the canopy and would be really lucky to land more than 100 metres from the parent tree on a stormy day.  Of course it can also depend on how far your pollen travels to cross polinate between flowers, does the plant use birds, bees, other insects, weevils or wind.  Basically it is generally good to use local provenances when you can, they have adapted or been selected over the millenia to the local conditions, be they human induced fire regimes (over 40 millenia or 200 years, take your pick for intensity or frequency), soil types, rainfall etc, they are likely to grow better and if you need to and can propagate, they are cheaper than buying in plants.

After a couple of years I started doing a bit of propagation, I started with White Beech Gmelina leichhardtii, and then I did some Port Jackson Fig Ficus rubiginosa and Moreton Bay Fig Ficus macrophylla.  The White Beech came from further up the valley, the Port jackson figs came from across the other side of the valley, the Moreton Bay Figs came from Wingham.  The parents in all cases were very mature specimens.  The figs came from perhaps 10 fruits in total each, hundreds of seedlings! My next propagation efforts might be Sassafras.

Many species don't occur where our privet infestations are, or only reappear after the privet is gone, or maybe only inside privet regrowth, they just needed that extra little bit of light to get started.  Generally anything that is not privet is most probably what you want to keep. Being especially careful around Guioa semiglauca, a seedling Guioa looks just like a seedling privet to the unwary.
Schizomeria ovata   White BirchIt also does not include those inside privet we find well beyond the seedling stage, eg Muellers Walnut Endiandra muelleri or, on the left, White Birch Schizomeria ovata, I haven't identified either species as seedlings yet.

In most instances those that are under the privet may have only advanced to their seedling leaves or may only have 6 or so leaves on a long thin scraggly trunk. 

The 2 Yellow Ash Emmenosperma alphitonioides I've found inside privet were like that.  Scraggy stems, perhaps the thickness of a pencil, zig zagging up, each bend seems to represent a growth flush.
 One of them I would estimate was perhaps 10 years old, very gnarled and knotted, about 1/2 a metre tall with maybe 6 leaves.
Emmenosperma alphitonioides  Yellow Ash

The knots have disappeared now, in this photo they only show up as wobbles in the stem, it has plenty of leaves and is now a little over 3 metres tall, another one on better soil got to about 3 or 4 metres tall before being massacred by stem boring grubs, then it grew back again, about 5 metres tall now.

The bizarre thing about Emmenosperma alphitonioides occurrence here is that I know of 4 young trees over a couple of hundred metres or so, as the Pidgeon flies, thats a straight line.  That's what I suspect happened, plop plop plop, one after the after by one bird after feasting on another one somewhere else.
Cages are only used in areas where seedling density is low or the species is uncommon at the moment e.g. Pepperberry Crytocarya obovata is making a come back, spreading from the bottom of The Big Gully, where they are common at one end, on to the top of the Main Ridge, where there are 3 seedlings, those 3 get caged.  I have moved a couple of seedlings from the bottom of the gully under very dense shade a couple of hundred metres to a place we call Gravelly Bend, on our internal creek which we call Stones Creek.  This trial also tells me they are moderately frost hardy, a useful revegatation candidate.
chicken wire cage

Without cages many species including Yellow Ash don't stand much of a chance with the Swamp Wallabies.  This is the flush of growth after the wallabies munched the top off before I moved the cage up again.  I didn't hammer the stake in well enough this time and they had another go, pushing the cage over.

Cages start out life 900mm tall, made from 1 metre of chicken wire, this one is stretched a bit. They get reused until they get totally destroyed, so far that has happened only by mowing over, not around here of course but in the garden.

After 5 or 6 years or so in very damp spots the bottom row of wire can get a bit rusty, usually only if it is below the mulch, that still leaves 850mm of useful cage.

Emmenosperma alphitonioides