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 Post subject: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Location: Swan Valley
The newly planted orchard had the red hill fire rip through it on Sunday.

Many of the trees have been burnt off at ground level but there are a number that have just had their "skin" burnt and most of the leaves. Probably the cambrian layer in which case they are stuffed. But does anyone have any advice about what could be done to help them survive if possible.

I got water back to them as a priority as the 500m of retic was all mush.

The thing that got them was the mulch I had around each tree with kept burning, if it weren't for the mulch the fire may have passed through.

Alll in all about 60 trees and bushes with only 1 that looks like it has a good chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:42 am 
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OMG sorry to hear that FizzyJ.
I am no expert as to what to expect after the fire, but you only have to look at burnt out areas soon after the rains come to see how wonderful the new growth can be. Perhaps you will be able to tell us what happens. I did go to a talk last year about the effects of fire and what I got out of it was- Don't be too quick to give up on the plants, wait and see. I know roses will come back after fire. Did you lose anything else? (I dare to ask.) Anything we can do? :sad2:

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:52 am 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
Location: Perth's North eastern hills
:sad2: Thats terrible, I have no facts or experience to base this on but my instincts tell me that if you got water back quickly and the roots weren't too badly damaged they should sucker up again but probably from the undesirable root stock as this is usually more hardy than the grafted fruiting part.

I would wait a few months and see what grows, encourage any desirable growth and graft onto and root stock growth if that is your only option.

What type of trees are we talking about?

Were they for commercial or personal use?

Do you need any help?

I feel for you mate, major setback and a lot of work ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Location: Western Australia, Perth, mediterranean climate
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Yeah if they are eucalyptus you might be right.... I hope....

Hey if your down our way at all Fizzy, drop in, I've got some Icecream bean trees and lilly pillies you can have to help replenish your tree stocks a little bit, they aren't very big yet, but better than nothing.....

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Location: Bullsbrook WA (temperate)
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Good idea EB, I wonder what any one else has to offer, I can spare a couple of white sapote, tamarillos and hopefully soon some loquat trees, all small and grown from seed but a good start, free delivery too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Oops, missed the title saying they were fruit trees....

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:12 am 
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Location: Bassendean West Australia Mediteranean climate (perth)
Sorry to hear about your trees Fizzy.
Good to here your OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:54 am 
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Location: Swan Valley
Thanks heaps everyone.
We were very lucky as the only things we lost were fruit trees and fencing (and 1 disused stable). The firemen obviously did a great job as the house still stands and I can see that the fire got really close ~ only a couple of metres away from the gas bottles.

All personal use trees and berries.

Will see how they go and if I am having to restock I may call on people for some cuttings etc. Cuttings from berries would be cool - I was trying to have a row of all sorts berries, marionberry, blackberry, raspberry, silvanberry etc. Will post some pictures later.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Location: NW Vic. Australia. Mediterranean climate, low rainfall
Sorry to hear of the damage to your property, but glad you and your house are okay.
Fires one side of the country & floods the other :sad2:

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:57 am 
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Location: here and there, near Townsville, dry tropics
Location: that should do
bugger Fizz :( thank goodness your house was safe

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Location: Swan Valley
Finally a picture.
Some shoots are starting to appear on some of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Nature is wonderful, isn't it?
Here is a link to a newsletter that Peter Coppin has written in response to what to do after the fire, thought you might be interested Fizzyj.
http://sn130w.snt130.mail.live.com/defa ... wsignin1.0

By the way, when you are in a position to replant let us know and we will help out with stuff for your orchard, probably a bit early yet (I'm guessing.)

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:01 am 
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Thanks Faye but I can't seem to get anything out of that link.


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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:16 am 
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This might be better FJ! :thumb:
E-letter # 5 Written by Peter Coppin 12/02/11 – free to be reprinted as long as the author is acknowledged

Hi everyone,

Following the devastating fires last week, I have received a few queries on what to do with damaged trees and shrubs, so below I have pasted the one I did after the Perth storms last year (I witnessed gardeners and arborists busily pruning where it isn't necessary). The principles are the same, I have just made some changes to suit fire.

This issue looks at the do's and don'ts as far as trees and shrubs are concerned following the savage events such as storms, fires or frosts, where some people have experienced severe damage to plants.

Do #1 - Do as little as possible as soon as possible! It's like frost damage - you really don't know how much real damage, ie, death, has occurred until trees start to put on new growth to compensate for the damage. It takes 10-14 days for plant hormones to kick in and initiate regrowth, so what may look like irreparable damage now may in fact be all right. With fire damage on large trees, it can take many months.

Don't #1 - Prune any part of woody plants unless branches are split, broken or torn. An exception to this is if root systems were damaged due to severe root-ball heave from the persistent strong winds etc (where there may be some structural instability due to cracked or snapped root-plate roots or sinker roots), in which case get a good arborist to inspect the tree. It may then be necessary to do a canopy thin or even a canopy reduction to take the weight stress off the root system.

Another exception is where hollow branches caught fire and may have well smouldered for days (especially if they were already dead), as this could be a significant structural weakening. But you could be surprised watching even small, blackened and leafless branches eventually spring back to life.

Do #2 - You can apply liquid soil improvers such as Seasol, especially to soil that is now exposed. However, one of the best things to do is to make sure everything is mulched properly with a water-wise mulch (not the soft, expensive and inefficient soft mulches which make moisture loss worse and are actually more fire prone). In fire prone areas, especially close to buildings, you may consider the use of stone, pebbles or gravel.

Don't #2 - Fertilise with any strong fertilisers at all - plants don't need them until they have replacement growth. Feeder root activity will be suppressed to some degree until those plant hormones kick in.

Do # 3 - Apply reflective paint to the northern side of now sun exposed branches on sunscald susceptible species such as avocadoes, camellias and possibly citrus (a cheap white, water-based acrylic house-paint or a home-made whitewash is the best). Regrowth should be OK as it will harden up to the sun as it grows.

Don't #3 - Apply whitewash or pruning paints to damaged bark below knee high - water splash can bring up collar rot and dieback diseases from the soil. If you do want to paint those areas to stop sunscald, apply a copper-based fungicide first.

In summary, you will be amazed how resilient woody plants can be following occurrences such as severe fire, frost or hail damage. Yes, there may be long-term damage to plants, but don't rush in until the perceived permanent damage is actually a reality.

One last point I am quite passionate about. We should be planting many more small to medium sized deciduous trees throughout urban landscapes, for wind protection as well as winter sun and summer shade. Most species are far less of a fire problem, as while the leaves burn it’s quickly like tissue paper. They are also much easier to maintain and much less likely to get full of dead wood and loose bark which are the basis of flying embers. They can even deflect some wind and fire over buildings. While I love our Eucalypts, most species are fire bombs.

Cheers, Peter Coppin

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 Post subject: Re: Burnt Fruit Trees
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Quote:
Do #1 - Do as little as possible as soon as possible!


Alright, this is my sort of advice.... :thumb:

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