GemLife Woodend’s unique protected forests are flourishing after hundreds of native seedlings were planted last springtime, with plans to plant another 1000 native grasses, ground-cover plants, and shrubs in November.
Part of a five-to-seven-year plan, the native revegetation program included 75 seedlings of the rare Black Gum Tree, an endangered and unique variety of eucalyptus tree that, in Victoria, grows exclusively in Woodend. An additional 125 seedlings were donated to the local community, including to owners of nearby farmland.
GemLife Woodend is already home to a thriving population of these extremely rare trees, with hundreds located throughout the resort’s protected forest areas – two expansive swathes of woodland running from the north of the site to its southernmost boundary.
GemLife Resort Manager Tony Liversidge, who oversees the program, said the only known Black Gum Tree populations lie within a four-kilometre radius of Woodend township.
“Most of these populations are small and under threat from weeds, grazing, drought and soil compaction, so we’re really lucky to have so many of these special trees at our resort and to be undertaking this program,” he said.
“Some of the trees at GemLife Woodend are over 150 to 200 years old. They are just a beautiful tree – you only have to look up and see them.”
Tony, who has 15 years of gardening and landscaping experience, said he felt privileged to oversee the revegetation program.
“I get very excited about our protected forest – I really love it. The program we have in place here is second to none,” he said.
“We have so much revegetation already in place and with the new seedlings coming in spring, which will help combat unwanted woody weeds, it will blend in with the natural environment beautifully.
“It’s fantastic to look at. I can think of nothing better than sitting at the country club at sunset when the lake is full of crystal-clear water and overlooking the protected forest – beautiful!”
The Macedon Ranges Shire Council, together with the Threatened Species Conservancy and Woodend Landcare, is working with GemLife to support Black Gum maintenance and revegetation initiatives.
GemLife residents, who have already been enthusiastic volunteers at past planting days, will be invited to take part in the November planting, giving them a sense of ownership of the resort’s unique natural forest. Stay tuned for details!