Rare trees relocated

The distinctive flowers of the Gossia gonoclada, a rare and endangered species known to grow naturally in the Logan area. Photograph courtesy of Glenn Leiper.
The distinctive flowers of the Gossia gonoclada, a rare and endangered species known to grow naturally in the Logan area. Photograph courtesy of Glenn Leiper.

Published: 4th June 2020

A delicate operation to relocate four rare angle-stemmed myrtles has brought new life to the species in Logan.

The myrtle, which has the botanical name Gossia gonoclada, is a small endangered native tree known to grow only in Logan and parts of Brisbane.

The tree was rediscovered in the late 1980s, when it was estimated that 64 of the 73 remaining trees grew in Logan.

Periods of drought and flood, competition from weeds and attacks by a fungal pathogen have impacted the species over time.

Recent surveys estimate just 33 wild trees remain in Logan, alongside 158 that have been raised from seed and planted out.

Logan City Council has a duty of care to protect the rare plants and increase the number of trees for their long-term survival.

It is working to meet the objectives of its long-term Gossia gonoclada Recovery Plan, which outlines several conservation actions.

The plan includes reintroducing the tree into suitable habitats in Council-owned or managed parks, to ensure the long-term preservation, viability and conservation of Logan populations.

In an exciting first Logan City Council, with contractor Heritage Tree Care, has relocated four trees from their 20-year home at Council’s Parks Depot at Marsden, to Bannockburn.

Habitat modelling developed by Council’s Health, Environment and Waste Branch was used to guide the transplantation of the trees.

Each tree, with soil attached to its roots, weighed around 1.5 to 2 tonnes, requiring a large crane to lift them out of the ground.

Each root mass was wrapped in geofabric, before the trees were transported 27km on a flat-bed truck.

The trees were then carefully placed into prepared holes, among other rainforest species on the banks of the Albert River.

City Planning, Economic Development and Environment Committee Chairperson, Councillor Jon Raven said Council was committed to protecting vulnerable native species in local environments.

“This small rainforest tree prefers to live in habitats along rivers and creeks,” Cr Raven said.

“Nobody likes to move home, but hopefully their new riverside views in Bannockburn will encourage them to put down roots and settle in.

“Jokes aside, these important works are part of our commitment to the long-term preservation and success of the species in Logan.”

Council will continue to monitor the trees to ensure their survival in the new environment.

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