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Buloak woodland

Buloak woodland

One of the rarest sights in Australia: healthy, shrub-rich Buloak woodland.

Vast areas of western Victoria were like this once, now only a handful of tiny accidental remnants survive. Buloak (Allocasuarina luehmannii) itself is not uncommon, there are stands of it dotted here and there across the Mallee and Wimmera and, less frequently, as far east as Euroa, but nearly always it is the last survivor of a vanished ecosystem: the rich assortment of shrubs and grasses has long gone; you see mature Buloaks and imported pasture grasses, nothing else.

To the early settlers, Buloak was a sign of decent soil fertility: the timber itself was valuable and a decade or two of heavy grazing was enough to destroy the understory. Once the seed bank is exhausted, it never recovers.