Content update: October 2022
The proposed selection of plants herein reinforces the landscape structure and hierarchy which has been established on the Sippy Downs campus since the University’s inception.
The plant list consists of Australian native and locally occurring species intended to contribute to the provision of appropriate habitat for fauna on the campus, including attracting further bird life.
Lessons from the successes and failures of previous plantings have been incorporated. Future decisions must be mindful of localised issues such as:
- Poor drainage, particularly near buildings and where lower lying clay soils exist,
- Wind tunnels around buildings, and
- Variable soil nutrient levels
Security issues and the provision of clear visibility day and night must also be taken into consideration. For example, planting adjacent car parks and along pathways is to be restricted to shade trees and low-lying vegetation.
The planting palette has been organised into three broad zones supporting existing and proposed campus activities.
Focus on Country:
Amplifying our relationship with Country at the very heart of the campus, this planting palette responds to the ancient landscape, the built environment and ongoing maintenance and operational considerations. The species have been selected against a criteria of being local to the area, having known First Nations’ uses, offering seasonality, have robustness in a built landscape and having a suitable respond to CPTED principles.
Intended to augment the existing Corymbia tessellaris planting, this selection of species is to be deployed informally in loose, staggered arrangements (refer indicative montage). Mounded landforms are anticipated here to improve drainage and to help frame campus activity.
The Northern Frame is the high ground which captures the sports precinct, Sippy Downs Drive frontage and surrounding landscape north of the two water bodies. Typically dryer and harsher growing conditions, the planting palette contains hardier species which offer amenity, habitat and connections back to ancient landscapes while being appropriate for this modern and functional precinct (refer indicative montage).
Drawing on the diversity of the Mooloolah River National Park and the originally translocated vegetation from Brightwater, the planting palette looks to complement and expand on the local ecosystems. The palette creates the initial framework for future revegetation and landscape projects within areas around and to the south-east of the water bodies (refer indicative montage).
Species have been coordinated with production lists of local nurseries.
Planting procurement and maintenance
The ultimate size and horticultural performance of each plant requires careful consideration of species selection. Additionally, careful selection of nursery stock as well as the size at planting is essential to achieving quality outcomes. Where possible it is desirable for plants to be grown to consignment. This ensures that plants are at an optimum size for their containers when planted out.
The size of trees at the time of planting also needs to be carefully considered. While it is desirable for advanced specimens to be selected, this needs to be balanced with the particular soil conditions, drainage requirements and the ability for an advanced tree to become established.
In more informal areas plants of different sizes can be planted at the same time. Advanced specimens provide immediate visual impact while smaller plants can become established over time. This method of planting allows for failures over time, especially of the more advanced stock, without causing major visual impact.
As many species as possible should be obtained locally, prioritising local seed provenance.
Plantings should be mulched preferably with aged and composted mulch. Some locations such as the waterways could use pebble and stone mulch.
A management plan should be prepared to guide site revegetation.
A gradual increase in planting as the campus expands is anticipated. This needs to be matched with ongoing reviews of appropriate levels of maintenance resources. Part of this process includes planned, ongoing monitoring of plant growth, changes to site conditions, and success or failure of plantings to feedback into future decisions.
It is most important that grounds-staff have the appropriate skills to carry out the varied requirements of successfully planting and maintaining the campus landscape. Skills in planting procedures, irrigation, fertilising, weed control, turf management and tree management, for example, are likely to be needed. At all times Environmental Protection Agency Guidelines should be followed.