Friday, July 18, 2008

Burke and Wills

Burke and Wills tree comes back from the brink

Map: Swan Hill 3585
Arborists are confident the Southern Hemisphere's biggest moreton bay fig tree is returning to health.

There were fears the 150-year old Burke and Wills tree at Swan Hill in north-west Victoria might die after starting to shed foliage from drought stress.

The tree was planted about the time the explorers passed through the region in their attempt to cross Australia from south to north.

But Swan Hill Rural City Council's environmental manager Sue Mahon says the tree is now developing new shoots and leaves after some intensive therapy.

"We've done some serious restoration works around the drip line," she said.

"We've drilled down using water boring, to increase water infiltration to the root zone.

"[We've] put about 8 centimetres of mulch over it and used some seaweed extract to sort of stimulate some weed growth, and of course we keep hugging it every week, and we enocurage anyone who's going past to give it a hug."

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