Trees aren’t what they seem

Trees aren’t what they seem

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19-Feb-2013

The strong winds associated with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald caused much destruction throughout South East Queensland with damage to vegetation widespread.

Many coastal areas have been particularly hard hit by salt and wind burn of vegetation which has left many trees looking brown and in some circumstances easily mistaken for dead trees requiring removal.

“We’ve had reports from some areas that these trees have mistakenly been thought to have deceased and have been cut down only to find that the tree was still alive and healthy” reported Joel Bolzenius from SEQ Catchments.

“Many of these trees are vital habitat for species like koalas and nesting parrots. Landholders should also remember that trees shouldn’t be removed without prior approval from council.”

Salt burn of vegetation is caused by salt being deposited on leaves by the wind carrying ocean spray. The resulting excessive salt levels cause rapid dehydration of plant leaves and they quickly turn brown, usually with the tip and margins of the leaf turning brown first.

“The good news is that many of the plants affected will rapidly recover, especially following the regular coastal showers have experienced in recent weeks which will remove salt from vegetation and encourage new growth”.

Landholders are encouraged to contact their local council if they have large standing trees that look like they have recently died off after the recent storm event and gain approval before proceeding with removal.

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