Turning feral olive trees into McLaren Vale wine

Published on 16 July 2021

Vineyards in the McLaren Vale-McLaren Flat region.

An innovative pilot project is removing feral olive trees from national parks and turning them into a product which is helping grow grapes at McLaren Vale vineyards.

This is the first time in South Australia that feral olive trees from Onkaparinga River National Park and Glenthorne National Park – Ityamaiitpinna Yarta are being used to create biochar, a product which can help retain nutrients, improve soil structure and increase water-holding capacity of soils.

Biochar production is an environmentally friendly carbon recycling process, which in this project is taking the olive trees, putting them in a portable piece of machinery called a Tigercat and burning the trees at temperatures of 500 degrees Celsius to create biochar.

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