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Grass-trees here to stay

Tucked away on a property in Nagambie is a special stand of grass-trees. It was so amazing that even the landholder was surprised by what he saw when he first found them.

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Grass-trees here to stay

Tucked away on a property in Nagambie is a special stand of grass-trees.

It was so amazing that even the landholder was surprised by what he saw when he first found them.  

The property has about 10 ha of grass-trees, an extremely slow growing group of plants which are endemic to Australia and can be recognised by their narrow, stiff, long leaves which sprout from the top of the trunk.

What is so encouraging about this patch of grass-trees is that they span across various ages - from the very young to the very old, with some more than two metres high.

Landholder Mike Davies (pictured) said he is proud of these distinctive plants which are popular amongst visitors.

He said, “I take family and friends to see them when they come to visit. Most have never seen this many grass-trees or any of this size or grandeur.

“This whole property is more than 100 ha and to be honest I had never walked the entire ridgeline where they are found, so I was really surprised to see so many, and particularly see some so old. They are incredible.”

Trust for Nature approached Mike about the conservation significance of the property and he was keen to find out about how to protect the grass-trees in the long term.

As a result, he is considering placing a conservation covenant over the land so they are protected forever.

Trust for Nature’s North East Conservation Officer Shae Brennan said protecting the grass-trees will ensure they are there for future generations to enjoy, even when the property changes hands.

“It’s great that Mike was interested in covenanting. In addition to the grass-trees, this is an environmentally significant site with great connectivity to an adjoining conservation covenant and is also home for the endangered Lace Monitor, which is more commonly known as the Tree Goanna.”

Not all of Mike’s peers initially understood his motivation for covenanting part of the property but he is passionate about protecting this special area-he also knows the covenant won’t prevent him from doing what he’s already doing.

“I’m not worried about the conservation covenant, quite the contrary. It’s a relief to know that these grass-trees will be protected long into the future, even when I’m not here to watch over them.”

Funding is available to protect this property as a result of the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program which is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.