Significant Tree Surveys

Brisbane City Council Fire Management, Queensland

Brisbane City Council (BCC) manages 9500 ha of natural areas for conservation and nature-based activities within the City. A critical component of this management is fire – applying the right frequencies and intensities is important to retain the essential structural and composition features of each vegetation type, and so that fire does not damage human assets and natural features such as large trees.

Eucalyptus Microcorys Toohey Forest Reserve 2

As part of their planning for fire management, BCC contracted ELA to conduct Significant Tree Surveys in seven reserves. Significant Trees are those that have habitat value (e.g. hollows for nesting fauna, food trees for koalas), and large trees (over 80 cm in diameter) that contribute significantly to the local ecology and have a “presence” in the bush. In addition to their value as wildlife habitat these trees play important roles in influencing nutrient cycling, local hydrological regimes and community dynamics.

The survey involved traversing each reserve and recording the location, diameter, height, species, habitat value and other important features (e.g. cultural heritage) of all trees that qualified as Significant Trees. Over a period of three weeks, teams of two ecologists mapped and recorded details of 1458 Significant Trees, two of which also have cultural significance as scar trees.

The results of the survey will allow BCC to tailor their burning plans to protect these important trees, by making sure fuels do not accumulate around their bases and fires are extinguished before they can cause damage.

Contact  Principal Ecologist Alan House for more details of our Brisbane team’s ecological and botanical capabilities using the details below.