Drought-busting Tips From Greening Australia
Why plant in a drought ?
- Droughts are really challenging and there are no simple solutions.
- Lack of soil moisture is one of the biggest problems for tree planting.
- One way to cope in drought conditions is to water the plants in (ie hose or tip a bucket of water onto the seedling just after planting) and commit to after care. This is particularly important for community plantings - people need to share the load. New plants can get very heat stressed.
- The only good thing about a drought is that there is less competition from weeds for new plants.
Tips for improving survival of trees
- Guarding - if planting in an area where there are rabbits and other pests, recommend a tree guard like a milk carton and bamboo stakes.
- Select local species - trees, shrubs and grasses that are native to the are are likely to have the best chance of success. Greening Australia can assist with providing information on local species.
- Ongoing care - someone needs to take responsibility for keeping a check on weeds - these are competition for new plants. People also need to watch for pests, signs of stress if it's dry and in rural settings, it's important that sheep or cattle are not let in too soon after planting.
- Preparation - eg chip an area around the plants so that weeds don't get close. For large scale site, it may be helpful to rip the site about 30 cm deep. If it's wet or waterlogged people can include mounds. Greening Australia can help with site preparation advice.
- Avoid isolation - don't have one tree on its own. Better to plant a group as they share the insect burden.
For more planting tips visit our How To Plant page