There are four main species of tree ferns found in Tarra Bulga National Park, (along with many other fern species) The two most common you will see are Cyathea australis (Rough tree-fern) and Dicksonia antarctica (Soft tree-fern). The Soft Tree-fern is more common in the moister areas including the rainforest gullies while the Rough tree-fern is more dominant on the slopes. Once you get you eye in it is fairly simple to tell the difference between these two, the most obvious being by comparing the trunks. The Rough tree-fern has much of its trunk covered by the remains of broken off stems (Stipes) Which are rough to the touch, while the Smooth tree-fern is soft to the touch and is covered by masses of soft hairs which are actually roots. On this soft trunk other species of plants will often grow including tree and shrub seedlings, epiphytes and other ferns.
Another useful tool is the Biodiversity Interactive Map, which is one of a series of interactive maps available online provided by the Victorian Government. It is a valuable tool for finding out information such as what the current Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) of a patch of vegetation is or what vegetation type a cleared area is likely to have been around the time of European settlement. That is a vital step to take when you are planning a re-vegetation project.
It is also a good way of finding out what threatened species may exist in your area of interest. Doing a search of the area shows that some of the significant species that have been recorded in the district include. The site can be accessed by the following link. http://mapshare2.dse.vic.gov.au/MapShare2EXT/imf.jsp?site=bim
When you are putting in the effort of planting you would naturally be intending that what you plant (as well as their descendents) will persist for many years. Research and experience have shown that there are many reasons why aiming to restore the original mix of species, that would have grown on the site prior to it being cleared is the best strategy. These plants are more likely to survive in the long term as they will be well adapted to the local soil and climate. The food and shelter that they provide will suit local wildlife and the risk of introducing plants that can become serious weeds will be minimised. eg. Cootamundra Wattle. Therefore it is an important part of any revegetation project to carefully select the species you with to plant.
In our focus area it is highly likely that the original vegetation of your planting site would be one of three vegetation types. Modelling of the landscape has been done across the region and tools have been produce to enable anyone to identify the what the likely original vegetation type or Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) of any project site would have been. These tools are available online at sites such as http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/about-dse/interactive-maps or you can find this information by other means such as contacting the local Landcare Network or agencies such as the DSE. The following map shows a wide scale view of the original vegetation distribution for this area.
Once you have identified your EVC you can then download the corresponding list from the links below. These lists have been developed from local species records, to help you choose the most suitable species for re-vegetation on your site.
*Note that not all species listed are commercially available and/or not robust enough to be used in new plantings. But they have been included to provide more information about the original flora.