Assets with Eyes

Local provenance planting

23 Jun 2020

Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest is a critically endangered plant community that provides inspiration for the planting palette of Sydney Olympic Park. Less than 10% of this forest’s original extent remains and one of the best examples of this type of bushland is found in Newington Nature Reserve, situated within the Park. The Forest contains over 210 species of trees, beautiful flowering shrubs and graceful grasses.

Since 2006, seeds have been regularly collected from the forest to create a source of local provenance seedlings for replanting programs in natural areas of the Park.  The seeds are carefully propagated and grown into young plants with the aim of:

  • Contributing to the increase in size of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest. The extent of the Forest has been increased from 14 hectares in 2002 to 19 hectares in 2019 through natural and assisted regeneration;
  • Increasing the distribution of Forest species and local genetics across Sydney Olympic Park;
  • Linking areas of high biodiversity within and outside the Park.

Using what is known as a ‘local provenance’ source provides plants that have evolved over a long period of time to suit local conditions such as climate and the site’s topography and soils. These plants are more likely to survive, mature and set seed, providing the next generation. This natural resilience can reduce maintenance costs of replacement or infill planting, contributes to the distinctive local character and creates a more naturalistic setting.

To protect the critically endangered Forest, seeds are collected under a strict licence. Seeds directly collected from within Newington Nature Reserve are planted within 300 metres of the Reserve boundary. Once mature seeds are then sourced from plants within this secondary zone and propagated to provide plants for the rest of Sydney Olympic Park.

Over 127,000 local provenance plants have been propagated from primary and secondary seed sources since the program commenced in 2006. This has allowed more structurally complex habitats to be created for native fauna, particularly woodland birds, and to achieve aesthetically pleasing habitats. Come and see living examples of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest at Kronos Hill or along Louise Sauvage Pathway in northern Narawang Wetland or read more about ecological restoration in the free ebook 20 Years of Healing: Delivering the ecological legacy of the Green Games.

Download your free copy of 20 years of healing

Plants grown from seed collected from Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest outside Newington Nature Reserve and ready for planting at Kronos Hill.
Toolijooa staff making plant guards to protect young plants not only from the weather but also from being bitten off by brown hares!
The aim of the seed collecting and planting is to reproduce Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest, the original plant community at Sydney Olympic Park.

Plants grown from seed collected from Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest outside Newington Nature Reserve and ready for planting at Kronos Hill.

Toolijooa staff making plant guards to protect young plants not only from the weather but also from being bitten off by brown hares!

The aim of the seed collecting and planting is to reproduce Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest, the original plant community at Sydney Olympic Park.
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