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Willow massacre at Oaks Estate

By johnboy - 6 February 2012 25

Territory and Municipal Services are letting us know they’re attacking beautiful willows near Oaks Estate to leave a blasted, but more authentic moonscape behind.

“The ACT Government has committed $1.5 million toward the cleanup of Willow debris, Willow control and river restoration work in identified priority areas,” Mr Hughes said. “This funding has been provided in addition to ongoing works associated with Willow control.

“Clean up of Willow debris has been underway since October 2011 along Woolshed Creek in the Majura Valley and along the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers at Oaks Estate and below Scrivener Dam with an estimated 500 truckloads of woody debris already removed.

“Work will now commence on phase two of the program which will involve poisoning and removal of established Willows using recognised control techniques. This work will first take place along the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers at Oaks Estate followed by the Molonglo River below Scrivener Dam. The removal of blackberries and other woody weeds growing along river banks will also occur as part of this program.”

Mr Hughes said after Willows have been removed, work will commence to rehabilitate the area. Revegetation will take place in Autumn and there will be opportunities for community planting days.

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Willow massacre at Oaks Estate
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yellowsnow 9:46 pm 22 Oct 12

They removed the willows along the Molonglo between the Scrivener dam and Tuggeranong Parkway a few months ago – place looks like a moonscape. Without the shade of the trees, the water temperature will be many degrees higher in summer, forcing many of the species that thrived in the cool, shady waters to move on. Come the next big rains, the banks will simply erode. By contrast, the river downhill of the Tuggeranong, where willow removal has not been undertaken is green, shady and full of fish and waterbirds.

Yes, willows are invasive and exotic, but so are many species – including humans. You can’t change history, sometimes it’s better to run with what you’ve got than try to turn back the clock somehow.

Yes, willow removal can improve the health of a river over time, but it has to be done properly – not the way it’s being done in the ACT. Current best practice is to remove the willows growing in midstream only to open up the river. If it’s determine that more removal is required, willows are then also cleared on ONE bank of the river. The opposite bank is left intact until the cleared bank is revegetated with natives. Only when this vegetation is mature and provides sufficient shade and bank stabilisation should the willows on the opposite bank be removed.

Obviously TAMS prefers the blitzkrieg/scorched earth policy where no tree is allowed to remain standing.

HenryBG 6:31 pm 22 Oct 12

Deref said :

Great to see these weeds being removed. It’s a wonderful thing to see watercourses regenerate when the willows are removed. Roll on the day.

I especially like the way the watercourses get so much deeper and wider after all the vegetation holding the banks together gets removed.

The additional sediment being washed downstream is also excellent for algal blooms, so a bit of a win:win really.

Deref 4:59 pm 22 Oct 12

Great to see these weeds being removed. It’s a wonderful thing to see watercourses regenerate when the willows are removed. Roll on the day.

OEPA 11:55 pm 18 Oct 12

There are benefits to be found contained in the differing propositions. And all require focus and preparedness to maintain and provide continual inputs.

I invite all who have written to the post, come and visit Oaks Estate and view the section of river corridor. As it adjoins willow infested river areas, it is a great contrast and comparison.

So come to the end of River St, park in the culdesac and walk less than 100 metres to discover the Molongolo.

I also understand that a workshop is soon to be held here?

Gloves anyone?

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