Started in 2020, we are now in the final stages of planting at the Bee Arboretum which is situated about 4 kms to the west of Beechworth on a dedicated 6 hectare (15 acre) plot of land secured for its purpose. So far we have planted around 25 species of native plants that have been chosen to best support bees and pollinators. Once planting is complete the arboretum will be home to around 3000 trees.
One of our goals in planting the arboretum was to trial different eucalypt species which don’t usually grow locally, for the purpose of seeing how plantings from other areas grow as our climate changes. Walking through the arboretum it is already evident which species are thriving and which ones are a bit slower to establish. As expected, our Beechworth frosts have taken their toll on some of the eucalypts which usually grow more coastally such as the spotted gums and lemon scented gums, but despite this there are still some which will make it through.
Species which are thriving early on are some of the eucalypts which love the wet such as messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua) and broad leaved peppermint (Eucalyptus dives), probably because of the two wet winters we’ve had since they were planted. The prickly tea tree (Leptospermum continentale) has also loved the wet and is doing really well, as are the silver banksias (Banksia marginata). It’s fabulous to see the growth that has occurred with the trees planted so far.
See the full list of species we’ve planted.
We’re also looking forward to our annual community planting event in conjunction with the Beechworth Urban Landcare group on Sunday the 7th August where we continue our planting along the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail. We all work hard, talk lots, plant a tree and earn a scone with honey for morning tea.
Even if you can’t plant a tree take the time to discover how trees can contribute to a sense of wellbeing. I love noticing the little things and it makes me happy to know that when we plant trees we create habitats for tiny little insects to make their home in. I am never surprised that research keeps uncovering how helpful trees and forests can be to improving physical and mental health. I know firsthand that being amongst trees helps me slow down, makes me feel happier, keeps me optimistic and almost always helps me to sleep better at night. These are all things I can use more of in my life.
Happy National Tree Day everyone and if you can’t plant a tree this year feel ok just to enjoy a tree, breathe deeply and imagine what a difference all of nature’s gifts make to both the bees and us.