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Life at Zaytuna – Trees, Trees, and More Trees

Clearing grass prior to planting a tree

Over the last week the team have planted around 400 trees up on the top section of the property. And, of course, this is not a monocrop planting – but a mix of 18 different types of trees, all planted in an area of about 15 x 100 metres.

For your interest, here’s a list of what’s been planted:

  • bunya pine (nut, timber)
  • casuarina (nitrogen, phosphorus accumulator)
  • corderline palm (understory)
  • crows ash (timber)
  • custard apple (fruit)
  • davidson plum (fruit)
  • flame of the forest (support species)
  • native frangipani (support species)
  • goya (pioneer species)
  • gremma (pioneer species)
  • icecream bean (fruit, nitrogen)
  • jackfruit (fruit, timber)
  • jacobs ash (timber)
  • lilly pilly (fruit)
  • red cedar (timber)
  • silky oak (timber)
  • white cedar (support species)
  • white fig (support species)

A good green manure mix has also been seeded between the saplings – including vetch, white lupin, mixed pea and singapore daisy.

The affectionately named ‘funky forest’ has been planted on a flat section where they’ll catch rainwater runoff from the top road. At the moment they’re also being watered by gravity-fed sprinkler from the top tank to ensure they get a good start.

In this region these saplings would be about $5 each, so about $2,000 in total. But, here they were all planted from collected seeds that have started their life in the Zaytuna nursery. The value of natural capital here is fantastic, and the return on investment huge – not just in fruit and timber, but in the many other services trees provide.

a hole gets dug

the tree is planted and mulched

Geoff looks out over the ‘funky forest’



  1. Nice work brothers and sisters. thanks for the list. Can you recommend anyone with similar dryland planting species/uses list? Central goldfields region Victoria. We enjoy and share your website on a daily basis. It looks great and is packed with the real news.Thanks to everyone involved.

  2. Every time we’ve planted native trees, wallabies and/or rabbits nibble them down to a nub in days. Do you guys ever have this problem? I’m afraid of spending $1000s on fruit trees only to have the same thing happen.

    We haven’t tried the Trees-for-Earth guards (pictured), but I can’t see those making the difference because they’re shorter than wallabies are tall…

    Any advice?

  3. Hi Kaye, I am sure the guys will come back to you with a wonderful list but can I also suggest reading ‘Trees on a treesless plain’ by David Holmgren. This book has plenty of information about the planting of tree which are specific to the central goldfields area. There is more information on his website

    Cheers and good luck from a fellow central goldfieldian

    Ray J

  4. Hey…good to see you still on the farm, Dave. I really miss being at that place…Nice work on listing all the trees being put in, Craig.

    Did Matt Kilby come to the farm? I saw alot of his pink tree guards.


  5. The tree guards work well and we also use a natural bitter animal repellent made by Nutratec Solutions made from blue dogbane and other herbs mixed then with cloak oil to spread it.

    Local species of pioneer trees of central Victoria would be essential but also Tree Lucerne, Albizia Julibriessan, Honey Locust and other good non local tree species that can grow fast and can be cut for mulch and re-grow on coppice.

  6. I tried a home-made way to make the leaves inedible. Sand and iron filings stuck to the leaves with a weak glue solution… sure enough the leaves weren’t edible so my local monsters bit the tree in half.

    Will try your suggestions and hope for less spiteful locals…

  7. a magical mix of provincial species, i especially like the use of the guioa semi-glauca, a tree of the soapberry family or sapindacae. Lychees also are in this family. May i suggest an integration of narajilla and butia capitata as understorey plantings as well as dogbane outside the presumed dripline that is also a beneficial fungal accumulant.

  8. Help Geoff!

    The only bitter agent I can find from “Nutri-tech” is aloe-based… I don’t see dogbane anywhere in the info sheet. The spelling of that company’s name is different than “Nutratec” as you have above. Is that the product or am I off in the weeds?

  9. For the record, I tried the Aloe product from Nutri-tech solutions which they don’t sell as a bittering agent, but which they reckon is pretty bitter. That, applied with the cloak oil and… get ready for this… 48 hours later the plants had all been browsed. Didn’t work. Will try a stronger concentration next time, but would really like a pointer to this ‘dogbane’ based bittering agent…

  10. The only way I’ve found to deal with wallabies eating seedlings is either to get a guard dog or use a shotgun.

    I wish more articles would be published on good ways of dealing with wallabies using permaculture principles, its a MASSIVE oversight considering how prolific this problem is.

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