We approach winter with the best growing conditions in living memory. Our soils are saturated, our forests are healthy again, and our bird populations are recovering. It is the perfect time to begin to repair the damage of 200 years of exploitation of our soils and forests (during this time 30% of our forests have been cleared and converted to agriculture.
There is one tree that stands above all others in its capacity to survive droughts, recover from bushfires and to boost the fertility of our soils by bringing carbon back to earth. It isn’t the eucalypt, it’s not a native, but it stands proud in the landscape of ravaged homesteads. It is the almighty oak, and it just happens to be the easiest of trees to grow simply by planting seeds directly into the ground now our soils are wet and easy to work. We have collected hundreds of kilos of oak seed for you to grow and it is the perfect seed to give to children so they become part of our tree planting restoration.
You may not be aware that our recently established industrial forest plantations could meet all our needs for wood fibre so that we never need to remove a single tree from our old growth natural forests. A recent Australian National University study titled Green Carbon shows that our old growth forests store three times as much carbon in their trunks, branches and leaves as well as their roots and soil as that found in mono-culture plantations.
"It takes a hundred years to recover the carbon debt from clearing intact natural forest. Storage of carbon in natural forests makes a rapid and powerful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
In fact, just by stopping all deforestation and allowing our forests to recover will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 18%.
So we can all help in mitigating climate change by pressuring our government to stop wood chipping our forests and by starting to repair our gardens and homesteads by planting trees. There may never be a better time in our lives.