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Acreage headache

Many people in suburbia dream about owning acreage. Some on acreage dream about going back to a small piece of land.


There are many joys in owning acreage – room for the kids to play, the dog to run, a slice of Australia to own. Lifestyle is at the fore why many people want acreage.


However many people who move onto acreage underestimate the work required to maintain the property. In other words, people should fully understand this work before they buy otherwise they will suffer from what is sometimes called ‘acreage headache’.


Maintenance on a property will vary from site to site, however the common features that increase maintenance are:-

  • semi-cleared land area with tall trees remaining
  • gum trees that drop branches regularly
  • surrounded by weed infested properties
  • large expanses of grassed or lawn areas

Ideally trees and native vegetation should be retained and enhanced whenever possible. Most local councils restrict destruction of native vegetation for environmental reasons. High maintenance may be an issue if mowing between the trees requires more time. Overcome this problem by creating large garden beds that link tall trees together in the one garden bed. Under plant with local endemic plant species to encourage wildlife back into the property.


Gum trees are sometimes referred to as ‘widow makers’ – they can drop large limbs, sometimes falling on people. Gums will require regular removal of fallen limbs. These limbs can be placed around the yard to assist in the biodiversity of animal habitats. Again, by creating large garden beds the limbs should fall into the garden and may not require removal.


Surrounding weed infested properties are a problem. Contact your local council office to identify existing and potential weeds. Obtain advice on how to manage these weeds on your own property and what procedures to follow to have nearby properties look at by the authorities.


Large grassed areas means mowing… hours upon hours. To reduce time wasted on mowing consider:-

  • reduce grassed areas by making more large garden beds
  • use a wide cutting ride on mower
  • hire someone to slash or mow your property


So why is it called ‘acreage headache’? It never stops needing to be maintained and most of the work is done in the hot sun.


Written by Paul Plant, FAIH - freelance horticultural writer

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