The idea of restoring Artemis' grasslands and open woodlands is conceptually simple but challenging in practice. First, although the invading trees shouldn't be there, given they are technically native we needed a permit under the Vegetation Management Act (1990) before we could remove them. Second, we needed to develop safe and effective ways to remove the invading trees. Third, we need a way to keep treated areas open after the initial treatment.

Habitat restoration images from July 2022 to April 2023.


Since 2020 we have been trialling several treatment methods to remove trees and shrubs. They all have their pros and cons, and we have found that the best method depends on the situation. For high value nesting areas, we cannot afford to damage termite mounds (within which parrots excavate their nest) and so clearing is done by hand using chainsaws and clearing saws, with herbicide application limited to the cut stump.

Conservation staff using the cut stump technique to remove invasive trees in nesting habitat.

In other less sensitive areas, we are using a residual, tree specific herbicide (Tebuthiuron) which kills trees with minimal impacts on the grass layer. We have also trialled physical removal with a loader in a small area, with follow-up sowing of native grasses.


In the years following initial treatment, new seedlings and any re-sprouting stumps need to be removed using a foliar application of tree-specific herbicides. This is done either using knapsack sprayer or tractor-mounted tanks.

Conservation staff spraying regrowth.

Managing grazing pressure is also an important part of the restoration process. Some treated areas are spelled for one or two wet seasons, while others are destocked permanently. This allows grassy fuels to accumulate, increasing the intensity of subsequent fires. Hot fires remove the fallen timber left behind after initial clearing and also kill a proportion of re-sprouts.

We use fire to help manage regrowth after initial treatment.