Tuesday, August 10, 2010

tree hugging

After a very wet July we are having an August of torrential downpours. No longer are we complaining of drought and empty water tanks as we squelch around the boggy garden and watch the small rivers flowing down the hill and into the dam. A few more days like this and we will be complaining of flooding and gathering together the animals two-by-two at the top of the hill.

The lovely yellow wattle tree in the garden is disappearing in a pile of sawdust. At first we feared termites, but on closer inspection it is blighted by 'stem borer'- a nasty bug that eats the tree from the inside out. It is currently a mass of yellow flowers which I fear is the swan song performance. However I have googled treatments, and despite all the Aussies we know thinking we are demented foreigners trying to save an infested tree which grows like a weed and is not worth the effort, 'Operation Tree Hugger' started today.

This involves identifying the source of each pile of sawdust, excavating the hole then inserting a piece of flexible wire to track and impale the bug within. Then prepare a paste of Dolomite and Derris ( that well known Music Hall double act ) and fill the hole. Finally use wood filler to seal the damage. The assistant in Bunnings ( a DIY superstore chain ) backed away very quickly when he spotted me in the wood filler aisle and asked what I needed the filler for. I plumped for exterior wood filler in pale teak.

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