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Trees on the Treeless Plains eBook

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Revegetation manual for the volcanic landscapes of central victoria

David Holmgren

A revegetation manual that provides a design system approach and principles applicable everywhere to assist in the development of local strategies and design solutions.

eBook format: PDF download


This design manual is a result of years of research and observation into the role and potential of trees and shrubs on farms. It addresses the transformation of broader farm landscapes through the application of permaculture principles to revegetation. The manual includes revegetation strategies and design solutions relevant to increasing and diversifying farm productivity while stabilising the landscape. It also address the public land on roadsides, stream sides and reserves.

‘…this is the only book that deals with Broadacre Permaculture systems (zones 3-5). I use this text in PDC’s when discussing Broadacre Permaculture with its great species index and range of design layouts exemplifying many key sustainable land use techniques.’ – Darren Doherty

The case study approach of the manual uses the volcanic landscapes as a focus to describe land types, local native species and to provide strategies, design solutions and species lists. It is directly relevant to some of the most valuable agricultural land in Victoria including the extensive Western Districts. A comprehensive species index of native and introduced trees and shrubs with proven performance provides a ready guide to species selection for different situations and purposes. For private and public land managers of the volcanic landscapes this manual is an essential reference.


PART 1 – Landscape Description 
Chapter 1 – The Study Area
Chapter 2 – Land Use & Degradation
Chapter 3 – Landscape Classification
Chapter 4 – Soils
Chapter 5 – Native Vegetation

PART 2 – Revegetation Planning
Chapter 6 – The Planning Process
Chapter 7 – Revegetation Guidelines
Chapter 8 – Volcanic Landscape Profiles 1, 2 & 3

PART 3 – Revegetation Targets
Public Land
Chapter 9 – Roadsides & Reserves
Chapter 10 – Streams & Reservoirs

PART 4 – Revegetation Design Systems
Private Land
Chapter 11 – Paddock Trees
Chapter 12 – Multipurpose Farm Shelterbelts
Chapter 13 – Farm Forestry
Chapter 14 – Tree Crops

PART 5 – Appendices
Appendix A – Species Index
Appendix B – Indigenous Species Descriptions
Volcanic Landscapes Map
Annotated Bibliography


The eBook works best with Adobe Reader 5 or 7 (a free download available from www.adobe.com) and contains HTML content that will open up in your web browser.

Features include:

• 163 pages of zoom-able plans, graphic diagrams, photos and text.
• Text links throughout
• Original photos now in colour

Free demo available here (6.9MB pdf) – pdf file in landscape format – no longer available as a CD-Rom.

NOTE: The download version of this eBook is around 55MB, compressed into a ZIP archive (.zip) and may take several attempts to download successfully if you have a satellite or mobile internet connection – dial-up connections are not recommended.

About the Author

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. Within the growing and international permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism. As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, which he explored in Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change (2009), and Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (2002). RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future (2018) is his manual for practical action. With an increasingly high profile as a public speaker, David Holmgren provides leadership with his refreshing and unorthodox approach to the environmental issues of our time. David lives with his partner Su Dennett at “Melliodora”, a one-hectare (2.5 acre) permaculture demonstration site at Hepburn Springs, Central Victoria, Australia. Visit his web site at holmgren.com.au.

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