The Man of a Thousand Trees

Recently whilst filming at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms near Canberra we spotted a lone figure in the barren landscape quietly digging a series of holes on a 2 kilometre stretch of swales that were designed by Geoff Lawton.

Matt Kilby has been on the farm now for 12 months and in that time has developed a system of giving the trees he plants a successful start to life.

Planting trees in heavily compacted soil is not easy as Matt will tell you, but it can be done if you follow some basic tips.


In this video Matt explains the right way to plant a tree on a swale, especially if its located in a fairly inhospitable landscape and how to make sure that the trees you plant have a high success rate. The pink tree guards that Matt created are not cosmetic. They have a particular part to play in speeding plant growth as Matt explains.
Matt’s life is trees. He’s been inspired by the words of Richard St. Barbe Baker’s book “My Life My Trees” and is determined to build a beautiful oasis on this planet by planting as many trees as he can. Matt has a vision of this planet and it’s a beautiful one. Where some people see problems, Matt sees a lush food forest fed by a cleverly design water harvesting swale. A model of sustainable design.

Visit Matt’s website at and say “G’day Matt, Well done!”