Grass trees in transition - METRONET


Grass trees in transition

  • 7 September 2021

They have long, needle-like leaves and striking black trunks. Can you guess which Australian plant it is? Yep – the instantly recognisable Grass Tree (or Balga in Noongar).

These slow-growing plants can take up to 20 years to flower and can reach a ripe old age of up to 600 years old! So, protecting, storing and replanting these native treasures is an environmental responsibility we take very seriously.

METRONET engaged grass tree experts, Grasstrees Australia to help carefully remove grass trees in the development corridor on the Yanchep Rail Extension project.

This environmental commitment is part of METRONET’s Sustainability Strategy that aims to minimise impacts from construction on flora, vegetation and terrestrial fauna, maintain ecological linkage and revegetate.

Click on the video to learn more about the grass tree relocation process.

The Balga’s are now comfortably accommodated at a ‘five-star grass tree retreat’ (aka nursery) in Wattle Grove.

Every good retreat has a focus on health and the grass tree retreat is no exception. Under the expert eye of Grasstree Australia staff, the botanical beauties are receiving the highest standard of care with maintenance, health assessments and treatments to encourage root development. 

As part of the station precincts, the Grass Trees will be replanted with other native species as part of the landscaping and urban design for the YRE project rail.


The ‘Balga’ is a culturally significant plant to the Noongar people:

  • the flowering spike is used as a firestick and makes a good fishing spear
  • the flower’s nectar forms a sweet, slightly fermented drink
  • the resin is traditionally used as glue in spear-making and for patching up water containers and didgeridoos
  • the tough seed pods are used as cutting implements
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