Protecting Eucalypt Trees
Indigenous eucalypt trees are an important component of the Mornington Peninsula’s landscape. Following community concern about the decline in eucalypt tree health in some parts of the peninsula, the Shire undertook a study that identified over-browsing of leaves by possums as one of the main causes of this decline.
To help reduce the impacts of possum over-browsing, the Shire has installed protective tree bands on selected eucalypt trees in bushland reserves and streetscapes in Mt Eliza, Mornington and Mt Martha. The results so far have been encouraging, with some trees showing new flushes of growth within a year of being banded.
Protecting eucalypt trees on your property
Eucalypt trees on your property may also be showing signs of decline from over-browsing. Tree banding can be a simple and effective way to protect these trees.
If you’re thinking of banding trees on your property, some points to consider include:
- Clear, flexible, plastic tree bands (i.e. Polycarbonate, Perspex) are easier to install than metal ones. You can usually buy these by length at your local hardware store.
- Tree bands should be a minimum of 60 cm wide and placed at least 60 cm above ground level.
- Where possible, tree bands should be installed above the first fork of a tree to provide refuge for possums.
- Banding will only work if possums cannot access the tree from other surrounding trees or buildings, so ensure branches are pruned to create a minimum distance of 2 meters between the banded tree and nearby structures. It may be easier to band a neighbouring tree than to prune it.
- Monitor your tree bands and remember to adjust the band as the tree grows.
- You may need to engage a qualified arborist to help you with these tasks.
Possums are protected wildlife
Possums are native animals protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and must not be harmed in any way. Visit our Possums page to find out more.