Through the eyes of Greg Harold (Harry) – Vineyard Manager

In the mid 90s,  we decided to plant some local red gums in a very wet section of the property. This was done to not only lower the ground water levels, but to also reduce the earth’s concentration of salt.
So on a fine day, the vineyard team snatched up some seedlings,  headed to the proposed site and commenced planting; careful to separate the plants by three meters in all directions – the main reason being, to allow access for the tractor so the weeds could be kept at bay with the slasher.

As time passed, the trees started to grow and so did the weeds – to the point where I decided to send our enthusiastic young worker Nigel down to the tree lot with the tractor and slasher.

When Nigel arrived at the tree lot, it was apparent that the weeds had waged a territorial war with the red gums, overpowering the hapless trees with their excitable reproductivity.
Nevertheless, Nigel lowered the slasher blades to ground level and began grooming the area, all the while being mindful of the layout of the plantation. However, it wasn’t long before Nigel found himself in a kind of weedy Bermuda Triangle – losing all  sense of his surroundings and veering dangerously off course. It was a navigational error that put the slasher’s whirling blades  – at 540 rpm, to be precise, directly in the path of the dainty red gums,  reducing many of them to splintered toothpicks!

After about an hour I decided to go down to the tree lot and check on Nigel’s progress, and was shocked to discover his ecological crime scene.
Although the red gums were planted in an East West direction, Nigel decided to slash in a South East / North West direction, presenting me with a trail of destruction that conjoured mental images of  hair clipper disasters in a barber college.

As time passed, the trees recovered. This is not to say that the scars from Nigel’s slasher rampage have faded – the red gums now assume a stunted, gnarled appearance, as though Nigel was attempting to craft his very own eucalyptus bonsai orchard.

So there you have it – that’s the story of Nigels Tree Lot!

See also: The Tale of Lightning lane and Lucky Number 13