High quality native vegetation is generally characterised by:
- a diversity of plant species;
- multiple vegetation layers including understory and groundcovers (structural complexity);
- trees of different ages, including large old trees with hollows;
- fallen timber, leaf litter, bryophytes (mosses, liverworts) or lichens;
- fungi and other soil microorganisms;
- few weeds; and
- connectivity with other vegetation remnants.
Broadscale vegetation clearance for agriculture, gold mining and urban development over the last two centuries has resulted in extensive loss of native vegetation across the region. On private land in North East Victoria, only 17% of the original native vegetation remains.
On-going disturbances and the spread of invasive species are further contributing to a trend of incremental decline in habitat quality of the remaining network of remnant vegetation. Impacts include weed invasion, loss of species diversity, lack of recruitment (regrowth), loss of hollow-bearing large trees, decline in groundcover, soil erosion, with off-site impacts such as decline in water quality and salinity.
The North East Regional Catchment Strategy summaries the key 'stressors' impacting our landscapes and identifies priority actions and management measures to address these.
The protection and restoration of existing remnants is vital in preventing further loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function.
Species Selection for Revegetation Projects
Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC) are the standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. EVCs are described through a combination of floristics (ie. characteristic plant species), lifeforms (ie. trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses etc.) and association with particular environmental attributes (ie. soil type, aspect, etc.).
Lists of the characteristic species that occur within each EVC are available and should be used as a guide when selecting appropriate plants for revegetation projects:
Native plant lists for EVCs in the North East catchment
Berringa, Chiltern, Corryong-Nariel, Lower Ovens, Lower Mitta Mitta, Mid Ovens, Mid Kiewa, Mid Ovens Lower King, Mid King, Mid Mitta, Mt Lawson, Reedy Creek, Rutherglen, Springhurst, Upper King, Upper Mitta, Upper Murray, Upper Ovens-Kiewa, Warby's, Wodonga
Selection of appropriate indigenous species will ensure that you are using plants that will enhance the biodiversity values of existing remnant vegetation, be suited to local conditions and provide habitat for native animals.
When it comes to recreating a 'natural' biodiverse landscape, the protection, enhancement and management of existing remnant native vegetation is the highest priority. Remnant vegetation will contain important elements of functioning ecosystems that are hardest to recreate through revegetation: the fungi and soil microorganisms, soil seed bank, lichens, mosses, herbs and ground covers. Remnants, whether in good condition or degraded, are in most cases much easier and cheaper to restore than recreating new areas from scratch.
If planting in cleared land, aim to create linkages with existing remnant vegetation.
The ratio of trees to shrubs and ground cover plants, and their densities will depend on the type of vegetation community being created. As a general rule, for what were originally forest environments, a 20% overstorey of trees and an 80% understorey of shrubs and ground covers is suggested. For grasslands or grassy woodlands, the ground layer would be an even greater percentage.
Healthy Catchments Information Kit: tools to help landholders manage their own land improvement projects.
Caring for Your Rural Property: Practical guides for improving the health and productivity of your land is a guide produced by the Greta Valley Landcare Group with information on planning and undertaking vegetation projects.
VicVeg Online has detailed information on revegetation techniques including regeneration, direct seeding and planting (click on the 'Vegetation Techniques' tab). There is also detailed information on EVCs and plant species.
Greening Australia also have a guide that can be downloaded:
Revegetation Techniques: A guide for establishing native vegetation in Victoria.
Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands - Identification and Management Handbook is a comprehensive guide to Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands. These wetlands are isolated freshwater wetlands that are seasonally or intermittently filled by rainfall and occur in the North East region.
Managing grazing on riparian land is a decision support tool document produced by the Department of Land Water and Planning (2016) and provides guidance to people with fenced off areas wanting to graze these areas.
The following two plant guides are available to download:
- Wildflowers of the Foothills and Mountains of Northeastern Victoria (pdf 5.68MB)
- Wildflowers of the Plains and Low Hills of Northeastern Victoria (pdf 5.49MB)
The following are nurseries known to specialise in providing local, indigenous species in tubestock suited to larger planting numbers, plus supplies.
NOTE: To ensure you get the right species for your area, most nurseries need orders up to 6-9 months prior to collection to enable propagation of your order.
Victorian Alps Nursery - Ovens
Park Lane Nursery - Wangaratta
Our Native Garden - Wodonga
PH: 0418 579 331
Sandy Creek Trees Nursery - Allans Flat (Yackandandah)
PH: 02 6027 1497
Mountain Creek Native Nursery - Shelley (Koetong)
White pages listing
PH: 02 6072 7534
Jayfields Nursery - Pulletop, NSW (North of Holbrook)
PH: 02 6036 7235
Ecological Enhancement Services (Beechworth)
PH: 0400 308 076
Other specialist suppliers tree guards and equipment for large orders include:
Native seed can be purchased in bulk from nearby seed banks including:
Euroa Arboretum – Euroa
Ph. 0429 137 499
Murray Local Land Service - Albury
Ph. 1300 795 299
Grants & Funding
If your site has good remnant vegetation, there may be assistance available through the CMA and our partners, to provide advice on management or financial incentives.
Grants are also periodically available, generally to community groups, for revegetation projects.
Please see Grants and Incentives for relevant information