Re: relocating hollow-bearing trees

Subject: Re: relocating hollow-bearing trees
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 10:14:43 +1100

G'day Chris and others,

In response to a request for information regarding the use of relocated
hollow-bearing trees.  A good friend of mine, John Robinson, who lives in
Strathfieldsaye south of Bendigo, has put a great deal of effort into relocating
a dead tree on his 'Land for Wildlife' grassy woodland property.  The tree was
blown-over in a wind storm several years ago and fell over the creek running
alongside his property.  The tree was of no real habitat value where it fell so
being slightly eccentric, John decided he would convert the fallen tree into an
apartment block for local hollow-dependant fauna, raising a few of his
neighbours eye-brows in the process!  At his own personal expense, he hired in
some excavating equipment to dig a deep hole, hired a crane for half a day to
remove the tree from the creek and place it in the hole, then ordered a truck of
pre-mix to cement the thing in (that process totalled close to $3000).  After
erecting the tree, he used silicone and pieces of natural timber to alter the
diameter of many of the natural hollow openings to specifically target different
species.  He also created new hollows using a chainsaw and a chisel.

Since completing the project, John has observed the following species either
nesting or sheltering in different hollows in the 'habitat' tree:

Sacred Kingfisher
Musk Lorikeet
Purple-crowned Lorikeet
Eastern Rosella
Red-rumped Parrot
Cockatiel (rare breeding record for Bendigo district)
Laughing Kookaburra
Striated Pardalote
Sugar Glider
Yellow-footed Antechinus
Lesser Long-eared Bat
White-striped Freetail-bat
Little Freetail-bat

This is a very interesting and encouraging tale of what can be achieved to
successfully provide habitat for hollow-dependant fauna by relocating
hollow-bearing trees.  However, I don't think there is any substitute for
retaining hollow-bearing trees where they occur naturally, and I think it would
be a dangerous practise to recommend otherwise.


Chris Tzaros
Land for Wildlife Extension Officer
Department of Natural Resources & Environment
Box 3100
Bendigo Delivery Centre 3554

Ph. (03) 5430 4368

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