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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Turn camphor patches into rainforest without herbicides

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You too can regenerate rainforest. Photo supplied.

Though camphor trees have become a back-up food supply for many native creatures, they are still a weed that needs to go.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare group is hosting a series of workshops on how to convert a camphor forest back into rainforest without the use of synthetic herbicides. The first session will be in May, with another five scheduled for the rest of the year.

During the sessions chemical-free bush regenerator Nadia de Souza Pietramale will share and apply strategies that are ecologically intelligent and economically viable.

The site for the workshops is a section of Salt Water Creek, located beside the Mullumbimby Community Gardens. All you need to participate are boots, a long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves, plenty of water, and some morning tea. Tools and a first aid kit will be provided on the day.

The work has been made possible by the Byron Shire Council Community Initiatives Program (Application for Community Donation) for the 2018/19 financial year.

The grant will also pay for additional planting along the creek and the purchase of extra tree poppers – a tool that very efficiently aids the mechanical pulling of woody weeds. Byron Shire Chemical Free is a project of Mullum Seed.

The  events will run from 8.30 am until 1pm – meet at the Mullumbimby Community Garden carpark. Places will be limited, so booking is essential by emailing [email protected]

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  1. Yes let’s ignore all the science and best practice recommendations out there and take an approach that is slower to implement, slower to yield results, and more physically demanding because both our ecosystems and us have soooo much time to spare.

    Drilling camphors and injecting them with 1:1 glyphosate (it doesn’t need to be Roundup or any Monsanto / Bayer products) kills them quickly and safely. Even the recent court cases in the US acknowledge the only possible harm from glyphosate can be to the frequent user who fails to take the precautions listed on the label.

    The chem-free approach along the Saltwater Crk north the community gardens has taken 100s hours work so far, repeated visits to the same trees over about 8 years now, with about a 75% success rate.

  2. Dear Mathews our approach and strategies are very efficient and perhaps jumping conclusion is not the best away to go, as i have no memory of working with you before. Glyphosate is the active ingredient of many herbicides and as state by the WHO since March 2015, it is carcinogenic. Although glyphosate was developed by Monsanto, it is out of patent, as it is more them 20 years old. So any one on the chemical making industry can use it. Pear research is pointing it to be very danger and when mix with other ingredients to be even worse. So base on the precautionary principal we have developed strategies to become independent of it, so we our not contaminating water, air and soil with a carcinogenic herbicide, while caring for the country.

    We are very please that we can share our skill with the community, as must of people our very happy that there is an alternative, on how to manage woody weeds in a organic manner. Our approach is not slow and it is economically efficient. Must of the weeds our playing an important whole in feeding and providing habitats for so many birds and mammal species that lost its habitat from the clearing, so slow is good. As it is important to replace the habitat as you are removing it. So I hope to meet you in the future and share the knowledge on environmental weeds management from a practical and research level.

  3. We were doing chemical free Camphor management projects back in 1997 with our Tweed River Restoration Group and Uki LEAP scheme projects. If you want to compare herbicide use with natural regeneration from that date, just go take a look behind the Uki Butter factory to see the herbicide free results and compare it with what you see behind the toilet block and community hall where there were once tennis courts.

    I’m sure you will agree that natural management is a clear winner.

  4. That is great Colin. I will go and have a look as I learn so much from visiting all the chemical free bush regeneration projects in our region. Thank you so much for sharing. Could you please send me an email on [email protected] so we can have a good chat about the site you mention.


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