Redgum Park – Post fire regeneration
By Tracy Abbas
Redgum Park Bushcare Group in Bullaburra has been working over the years to regenerate four sites contained within that Reserve. The four sites are the roads that bound the site: Genevieve Road, Cottle Road, De Quency Road and Boronia Road. In 2018 the Group was battling a huge infestation of Watsonia, Agapanthus, Freesia, Montbretia and Western Australian Bluebells (Billardiera heterophylla) all compounded by a canopy of twenty three Pine trees. Taking advantage of a controlled burn that was undertaken by BMCC and RFS, we were able to get on top of the weeds, a task that initially appeared insurmountable.
Over the coming months we continued to hand remove Watsonia and Agapanthus. When the burn occurred in October 2018, we remained off the site for six months and concentrated on Boronia Road and Cottle Road entrances. Within this time in December 2018, the group monitored the site and realised only the Watsonia and Agapanthus were sprouting after the fire. The emerging shoots were sprayed as there was very minimal other regrowth or seedlings present.
18 months later, with minimal follow-up of the Watsonia, Montbretia and Agapanthus, the native groundcovers sprang up and other coloniser species are establishing. We are presently enjoying fields of Donkey Orchid, Bearded Orchid, Leek Orchid and various Thelymitra species.
Meanwhile, another area of Redgum Park was being strangled by vines and creepers. Primary work was undertaken on the Cottle Road entrance, at the same time limiting the impact of weeds on the population of Pultanea glabra, listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act 1999.
During the Summer months, contractors were engaged to work on the Boronia Road Reserve entrance, which included widening of the entrance track, removal of a large Pine tree, as well as large number of Agapanthus, Pittosporum and Cotoneaster, along with the Japanese Honeysuckle that entwined them. The entrance was then mulched using the chipped material from the Pine tree that was removed. Plantings of Banksias, Acacias and Hakeas were added to act as vegetation screening for adjacent neighbours. These local natives will also give the entrance some connectivity to the Reserve and make it more appealing to residents and visitors.