The mystery of the tree guards

Having had my rant, I’m going to start blogging properly, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on and what follows will not be in chronological order, but I’d still like to document it….

We don’t want to gather firewood from the bush since fallen/dead timber provides valuable habitat, and we would be disrupting the natural cycle, so we decided to plant out an area dedicated to fire wood trees. There are several small clearings on the block – WAY too small for a house (sorry couldn’t resist) – and we chose one to fill with blue gums, far away from the house.

We chose blue gum because while its not the best fire wood, its still pretty good. It’s easy to split, ignite, produces few sparks, is very fast growing and is local to the area, although not our block. It also coppices well – we can cut it down, and it will regrow rapidly.

We packed them in the clearing – got about 50 in – leaving a track through so that we could get the tractor and trailer in to collect the firewood. We put tree guards around each one, serious tree guards that take a bit of time to make, because we’ve had problems with kangaroos eating our new planted trees. They seem to like them much more than naturally seeded trees – must be more tender from being carefully grown. So by trial and error we came up with robust guards – see tree guards page.

But to our amazement, when we checked on the trees after a couple of weeks to see how they were fairing, many of the tree guards and been removed, and a couple were missing. There is NO WAY a kangaroo can do this. These tree guards had survived everything the kangaroos could throw at them. Wallabies, wombats, koalas would have no chance. And even odder, none of the trees had been damaged. The kangaroos usually strip all of the leaves off the plants, but these were still healthy and undamaged.

So Mark bought a motion activated trail camera to try to figure out what was happening….

OMG we’ve got deer. Owned the block for over 20 years and never seen one.

Can’t upload the video’s, but the deer have been fighting the guards, and lifting them off with their antlers!!! Feral deer!

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