Clean-up now on for Jimboomba eucalyptus plantation

SURVIVAL: Hills International College student Elektra McMillan was shocked that her eucalyptus tree plantation was still standing after the floods. Photo: Georgina Bayly
SURVIVAL: Hills International College student Elektra McMillan was shocked that her eucalyptus tree plantation was still standing after the floods. Photo: Georgina Bayly

Eucalyptus trees were on Elektra McMillan’s mind during the recent flood, after she realised that her 122 plants would be underwater at Hills International College.

After three days of constant worry, the water receded enough for the 11-year-old and her family to trek through the mud to the plantation site.

They had low expectations that the seven-month-old trees would survive.

Elektra said she was in complete surprise when she found most of the trees still standing.

One of the larger trees is nearly the size of Elektra now. Photo: Georgina Bayly

One of the larger trees is nearly the size of Elektra now. Photo: Georgina Bayly

“They are a little muddy, but still fighting for their life,” she said.

“I just don’t know how they did it.”

Elektra’s plantation was formed after a school project last year, where she had to focus on saving the planet.

Due to her love of koalas, she decided to raise funds for Australian Koala Foundation.

She had barbecues and people could adopt one of the eucalyptus trees in the plantation.

“I really wanted to be able to grow the trees so we could harvest the leaves and help the sick koalas in the animal hospitals,” Elektra said.

Koala Services Queensland owner Stu Andrews, who donated the trees for Elektra’s project, said it was a positive that the trees were so young and flexible.

“If they had been maturer trees, they may have just snapped in the water,” he said. 

Elektra will need to clean all the trees leaves. Photo: Georgina Bayly

Elektra will need to clean all the trees leaves. Photo: Georgina Bayly

“Once they dry off they should straighten up and continue to grow.”

Elektra and her family now have the huge task of cleaning the leaves to ensure they do not crumble.

It is also essential so each tree can continue to gather sunlight and water.

“So many of them already have new shoots,” Elektra said. “I’m so thankful that they survived.

The trees now have new growth. Photo: Georgina Bayly

The trees now have new growth. Photo: Georgina Bayly

“We might have to come more to check on them.”