The destructive storm that hit northern Sydney on 27thNovember 2019 felled many very large trees in Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve.
In 2009 this tall blackbutt provided plenty of roosting space for grey-headed flying-foxes but now, ten years later, its top is on the ground, with other trees felled by the wild weather.
The photo above shows the snapped trunks of this and a neighbouring tree, while the photo below shows the tangle of branches and logs where these trees fell.
There were only two mature bluegum trees in the reserve. All of one and the top of the other are now logs on top of two wallaby exclosures which will not be able to be repaired.
Fortunately, Ku-ring-gai Council quickly sent bushland staff to remove fallen trees from the fence which was protecting the 2017 ecological burn. Repairing the fences was urgent to prevent the wallabies damaging young trees and shrubs which are growing well, despite the drought .
The Council team have also helped to clear fallen branches from the tool depot where Bushcare Volunteers keep gear used to build exclosures. We really appreciate this help during a time when Council staff are clearing many other parks and streets.
The photos below are before and after photos of Exclosure South 4.
Amazingly, the weather station, the remote weather station and all the data loggers in the trees were not damaged. One tree fell within 1.5m of the remote station.
We have seen two young powerful owls since the storm, roosting in trees which were not damaged.
The flying-fox camp spread south across Stoney Creek after the storm using undamaged trees.
Some exclosures were only partly damaged. Jill and Nancy were able to saw these branches, pull them off the fence then mend the fence.
In 2020 after a good rest the Bushcare Volunteers will make further repairs to the exclosures which have proved beneficial in allowing understorey plants to grow retaining a moist habitat which will help flying-foxes survive severe heat events.