Tree-planting to strengthen creekbanks



Fifteen thousand young trees are sinking their roots into Tableland soil as part of a $2.3 million project to fight erosion, improve farming land and better protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Graziers are working with Terrain NRM to repair eroded creek banks.

“Trees are the long-term solution, and they work well when they are combined with earthworks in the worst erosion hotspots,’’ Terrain project manager Vanessa Drysdale said.

“Root systems hold banks together and slow water down in heavy rain events, decreasing the chances of topsoil loss and of further erosion.”

Ten thousand trees were planted in March and April, bringing the total to 15,000 since the project began three years ago.

Ms Drysdale said the latest batch of trees went into the ground at two cattle properties with waterways feeding into the Johnstone River. A new cattle crossing was installed at one of the properties and sections of streambank were fenced off at both spots to prevent more erosion while the trees gain a hold. New off-stream watering points were also installed.

The work follows creek-side revegetation projects last year at two Tableland properties – in a landslip area at Jaggan and along an eroded creek system at Malanda.


Saving topsoil and reducing sediment loads

“This project is all about reducing sediment losses to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon while helping graziers improve their pastures and livelihoods,’’ Ms Drysdale said.

“We are also improving habitat connectivity along waterways. Some of these areas had close to no riparian vegetation. The project includes ongoing maintenance, to make sure the trees get up and the weeds and grasses don’t take over. So far the new sites are doing really well.”

The Upper Johnstone Integrated Project is funded by the Queensland Government through its Natural Resources Investment Program. It also includes public workshops on grazing management practices. For more information, visit our Upper Johnstone page.

The Johnstone River catchment is a priority for water quality improvement, with the Far North’s highest sediment reduction target as part of the Australian and Queensland Government’s Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan.


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