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Aussies Living Simply

Choosing trees

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    So I have a bit of a different situation. We have several points on our property that were used by a box factory to dump sawdust. The sawdust is very deep in some places and most is quite old. Age of it ranges from the 30’s to the 80’s. Previously some pine trees were planted in it to stabilise it but there are plenty of problems with pines. We have been going through and cleaning up all the blackberries and smaller pine trees but we need some trees to plant to further stabilise the sawdust and allow us to grow pasture and graze animals.

    What would be a good tree for this? if it is helpful most of the sawdust would be pine and we are in the central tablelands.

    I will always be looking into using pastures with deep and spreading root systems to help. Currently there are several rushes that are holding it very well but these are not good for production.

    Thanks in advance


    Not knowing what the ph of the ‘soil’ is .. I understand acacias are regarded as good pioneer plants – short-lived, fast-growing, nitrogen fixers. …



    wow! i get the impression that is alot of sawdust. i would recommend posting a few pics of the general area so we can see whats going on.

    are these huge piles of sawdust or has it been spread to some degree?

    too what degree has the sawdust “composted/rotted down?

    i ask that because sawdust can cause a nitrogen deficiency while it rots. look up carbon nitrogen ratio or c/n ratio.

    when selecting a tree i would ask these q’s

    what is the purpose of the tree, too stabilize, fodder, food, wood, all of the above!

    what stock will you be running most stock will eat/kill trees?

    will you be able to look after/water young trees or are they going to have to tough it on there own?

    are you able to fence off or protect trees?

    I’m leaning towards fast growing legumes as the main contenders.

    let us know any more details and I/we will do our best to point u in the right direction.



    thanks for the replies.

    Yes it is alot of sawdust and it is quite deep in some areas probably nearing 2m deep but it has rotted quite well over time with help from some unfortunate fire events from lightning and the only way to stop a fire in the sawdust, because it simply smolders away for weeks, is to keep watering and turning it over.

    I will try and get some pics tomorrow for you to see. We will hopefully be able to water it and we are planning to put a pasture in and irrigate it for the next few months at least until it establishes. We have been down there in the tractor moving it and smoothing it out. There are alot of rushes and blackberries at the moment which seem to be thriving but these are not good for production haha so we are pulling them all out. The trees major use would be stabilisation. Any other use would be a bonus but fodder trees/shade trees would be great. We currently have horses and a few cows but are planning on increasing our livestock numbers as we increase the productivity of the place by using paddocks like this. We won’t be putting the stock in there until trees and pasture have established and we will protect the trees in some way to stop them from being eaten.

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