Old trees breathe new life into habitat project

Work has taken place to remove a 160-year-old yellow box tree in Amaroo which has been deemed unsafe, and relocate it to Barrer Hill in the Molonglo River Corridor near Coombs as part of an innovative restoration project.

The tree was removed intact before being lifted into location at Barrer Hill where it will provide valuable habitat for local wildlife.

The delicate operation involved a crane truck and skilled Arborists. The tree had dangerous branches pruned back before being placed into a steel-lined sleeve with concrete footing to keep it in position at the restoration site. Extra hollows of varying dimensions will be carved into logs and attached to the tree, providing homes for animals like marsupials and bats.

The work is part of a restoration project that has been taking place over the last two years at Barrer Hill within the soon to be declared Molonglo River Reserve. Significant weed removal and revegetation work are helping to restore the site, which was degraded by pine plantations and livestock grazing.  

The area’s rocky grasslands are home to threatened species like the pink-tailed worm-lizard. Rock relocation and salvage log placement is also seeing the return of other valuable habitat structures to the site.

Over the coming weeks the ACT Government will resurrect more intact trees into the area. These will also receive carved hollows to help attract animals. Specialised wildlife cameras will be placed in the trees to see what sort of wildlife returns to the area.