Paddock Tree Projects

Our Paddock Tree Projects focus on two vital regions of South Australia that require significant revegetation: the South East, where there is a dwindling population of native trees and in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, to expand habitat for birds on grazing properties.

Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project

Paddock trees are an icon of the Australian landscape and provide a number of significant benefits to wildlife, primary production, tourism and local amenity, carbon sequestration and as treasured features of home.

Trees For Life is offering landholders the opportunity to address this trend by supporting them with materials and advice to incorporate paddock trees into their property management plans, plant new paddock trees and protect existing trees across the south-east of South Australia.

Why is it important?

Recent research has shown¹ that paddock trees are declining in the south-east region and there’s a significant lack of recruitment of a new generation. The ‘Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project’ aims to create a new generation of paddock trees in the region by enabling landholders to plant new native trees, and to apply best practice and cost-effective methods of sustainable agriculture to preserve existing trees.

¹ Koch 2019, ‘Habitat Extent Mapping and Rates of Habitat Change for the 2003 to 2017 period Across Feeding and Nesting Resources for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo’, report prepared for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Recovery Team

Who can help?

Landholders with sheep and cattle properties who are interested in planting new trees and protecting existing trees on their property. Trees For Life can provide seedlings, guards, and fencing materials to selected landholders.

The project has developed several short instructional videos with tips on how to assemble different styles of tree guard to best suit your property, based on local trials and feedback. Landholders can also download a planting guide and fact sheets to guide paddock tree guard construction for sheep and cattle.

If you’re interested in taking part in the Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project, please read the FAQs document and complete an Expression of Interest form. Contact Samantha Rothe for more information on 08 8406 0500 or via email.

The project will run until late July 2024, with plantings to be undertaken in May and June of that year.


This project is supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board in partnership with Trees For Life.

Mount Lofty Ranges Paddock Tree Project

Since 2016, the Paddock Tree Project has been establishing the next generation of paddock trees in the lower rainfall areas of the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, providing critical habitat for many ground foraging woodland bird species whose numbers are in decline.

By undertaking this broad-scale restoration of low rainfall grassy woodland habitat in areas where we know the declining woodland birds are present, and in partnership with landholders, we hope to curb the current trend and maintain habitat for these precious species into the future.

Our Paddock Tree Project video and Impact Report, provide an inspiring and fantastic overview of the incredible work that has been undertaken so far.

Why the need for scattered paddock trees?

Scattered trees in sheep grazing landscapes provide a range of environmental and production benefits. They provide shade and shelter for stock, improve soil condition and invertebrate diversity.

Paddock Trees are also vital to safeguard the long-term survival of a number of threatened woodland bird species including the Brown treecreeper, Chestnut-rumped thornbill, Diamond firetail, Hooded robin, Jacky winter, Restless flycatcher and Southern whiteface. Woodland bird numbers have declined significantly in the past ten years, with some disappearing from the Adelaide Hills altogether.

To establish the next generation of eucalypts, sheoaks, acacias and native pines, we have carried out the planting and guarding of the trees with high quality stock-proof guards at no cost to the landholder, while they commit to caring for the trees into the future. In consultation with the landholder we designed a planting plan for each property after performing field surveys and detailed mapping.

For landholders

We have documented some of our methods to help inform landholders or groups who might want to incorporate scattered trees in a production landscape for conservation outcomes.

We have also developed a guideline to help landholders decide when to remove tree guards.


This has been a partnership project, with on-ground work delivered by Trees For Life, guided by a Coordination Committee, with members from Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and Department for Environment and Water.

Planting plans are developed in close consultation with landholders, while funding has been provided by the state and federal governments.

The latest phase of this project, the Bushfire Recovery Paddock Tree Project, has been supported by the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board with funding from the Woodland Bird Resilience Program, a joint initiative of the Australian and SA Governments in response to the Cudlee Creek bushfire.