Wednesday, 30 August 2017 15:08

Limerick School Tree Planting

Same place. Same time of year. Same person. Just 80 years later.

Students of Limerick School, planted a row of Tasmania Blue Gums (provenance bicostata) leading from the Peelwood Road up towards the schoolhouse. This was in 1937.

“The teacher must have been pretty on the ball to have us kids planting these trees when many trees in the area were being ringbarked and cleared”, recalls Eric Hurn.

Eric Hurn and Olive Treacy, were allocated the task of nurturing one of these trees which is still standing proud today, 80 years later. Those “occasional buckets of water” Eric described must have done the trick!

This clearly inspired something in Eric. He went on to plant thousands of trees on his grazing and potato growing property near Roslyn. In conjunction with Roslyn Landcare and Local Land Services, Eric also hosts a planting day each year with local primary school students on the Broken Bridge Traveling Stock Reserve. Continuing the legacy started back at the Limerick School.

Clearing was conducted throughout the Upper Lachlan Shire, as was the case in many parts of Australia. The remanent stands of original forest and woodland we see today are invariably on the poorer, or lighter country, like hilltops. These areas were last to be considered when clearing, and fortunately many were never cleared. These areas now provide valuable refuge for many woodland birds, reptiles and mammals, like the spikey echidna.

“These days people see all the trees we plant and think how much better the countryside looks. Which is true, but they don’t know how much is missing.” Observes Eric. “We had the clearest creeks and freshest air, plenty of bird life, and this was all down to the trees.”

So, by the sounds of things, we still have a long way to go to restore a better balance between open paddocks and woodlands.

Eric will celebrate his 90th birthday in a few days. We wish you a very happy birthday Eric and are truly grateful to have such a visionary in our community.

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