Free trees back on offer for Scenic Rim ratepayers as nursery reopens

TREES: Scenic Rims parks and landscape maintenance staff are looking forward to welcoming customers at the reopening of councils Beaudesert nursery next week. Photo: SRRC
TREES: Scenic Rims parks and landscape maintenance staff are looking forward to welcoming customers at the reopening of councils Beaudesert nursery next week. Photo: SRRC

Scenic Rim Regional Council's nursery for the distribution of free plants reopens at 73-81 Birnam Street Beaudesert on Friday.

Council said from July 3 residents could redeem their free tree vouchers and council would honour vouchers issued with 2019-2020 rates notices for those who may have missed an opportunity to collect their plants during the nursery's COVID-19 closure.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the free trees initiative was a vital part of its Million Trees program, which aimed to plant one million trees across the region by 2025.

"Our free trees initiative plays an important part in the greening of our region and enhancing its biodiversity," he said.

"For the past five years we have provided some 8000 free plants a year through the free trees vouchers, which are issued with rates notices in July.

"This year we are now offering Scenic Rim ratepayers with multiple properties up to 10 plants, an increase from previous years when the maximum was six plants."

Council said numerous local native species would be available as well as a small number of hardy exotic plants compatible with the Scenic Rim's natural environment.

Flowering and non-flowering plants available in pots include ground cover and rockery specimens up to 0.5 metres, dwarf shrubs up to two metres, screening shrubs from two metres to four metres, specimen shrubs from two to four metres, medium canopy trees up to 10 metres and large canopy trees of 10 metres plus.

"When selecting their free trees, it's important that residents consider the size of their property and the size of the plant when fully grown so that it is correctly located," Cr Christensen said.

Council's Parks and Landscape Maintenance staff took on dual challenges with COVID-19 and fire ant compliance requirements in preparation for the nursery's re-opening.

Council said COVID-19 preparations were in place, with the installation of signage, bollards and hand sanitising stations. They said they had also worked hard to comply with the Queensland government's National Red Imported Fire Ant Biosecurity requirements, with drenching of pots and perimeter treatments where pots are kept on the ground.

The number of customers allowed in the nursery at any one time was limited to five and only customers collecting plants would be allowed to enter the nursery.

Council asked customers to bring a bag or container to carry their plants and browsing would be limited, particularly while other customers are waiting.

They said details of the COVID-19 safety measures at the nursery, and at free tree distribution locations in coming months, would be provided to ratepayers on their free tree vouchers to be issued with July rates notices.

"Many Scenic Rim residents have turned their attention to their gardens during COVID-19, so we are glad to be able to get the free tree program back up and running," Cr Christensen said.