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Don’t beat about the bush on National Tree Day

July will see the shire’s gardeners and nature lovers, from flowering youth to late bloomers, dig in for Australia’s largest community tree-planting event.

Eurobodalla Council’s natural resources officer Courtney Fink-Downes said the shire’s residents should “grasp the nettle” on National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July.

“Just pull and bag environmental weeds from your garden, bring them along to the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden between 10am and 2pm, and we’ll give you some beaut local natives in return,” Ms Fink Downes said.

Ms Fink-Downes said five million volunteers had planted more than 25 million trees since National Tree Day took root in 1996, thanks to the efforts of Olivia Newton-John and Planet Ark.

“Don’t get led up the garden path with weedy exotics or even non-local natives,” the natural-resources officer said, “it’s the local plants that are best suited to our soils, climate and wildlife”.

“Plus there’s all kinds of benefits for individuals and communities too.”

Mr Fink-Downes said recent research showed that a five percent increase in tree cover could reduce daytime temperatures by more than two degrees, and a large healthy tree sequestered up to 93 kilograms of carbon dioxide and more than a kilogram of air pollutants each year.

“Time spent in nature can reduce stress and improve happiness and productivity, making National Tree Day the perfect time to get planting in your neck of the woods,” she said.

“National Tree Day ties in with work done by Eurobodalla’s Landcare groups. Kids benefit too, so Council will again partner with local schools for Schools Tree Day on Friday 26 July.

“We’ll be helping students grow their green thumbs to plant out bush-friendly environments and learn how to identify invasive weeds using our terrific online weedfinder.

“Knock on wood, they’ll learn something new.”

To identify environmental weeds in your garden, visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/weeds and click on ‘Weed finder’. For more information on Council’s National Tree Day plant swap, visitwww.esc.nsw.gov.au/events and click on ‘Free plant swap’ or contact Council’s sustainability team on 4474 1000.

Above: Council’s Emma Patyus and Heidi Thomson want you to swap your weeds for native plants to celebrate National Tree Day.

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