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But this is an understatement for the region as a whole, for by the mid to late 1880s, the scrub cutting and ringbarking frontier and the Chinese population moved sharply northwards.
A pastoralist in the Nymagee district well north of Hillston commented in 1888 that Europeans were no good at scrubbing and ringbarking: They can't do it at the price, and if they take a contract they only do so to get a draw of rations and then clear out and take the tools with them.
In NSW, the Chinese men were very well organized and equipped for ringbarking. George Gow, a station manager and later a stock agent, wrote a detailed account of these activities.
Shrub cover was essentially zero and, where Snowgums had not lost their leaves, these soon yellowed and died due to the effect of fire ringbarking the trees (Fig 4; pers.
However, there is a strong local memory of Chinese involvement in the building of stone fences and ringbarking further to the south at the small town of Craigie.
(29) The principal but certainly not the sole purpose of the camps was to supply a steady source of labour for ringbarking and land-clearing activities throughout the Riverina and western NSW.
The time to death was likely to be correlated with the degree of ringbarking, with complete ringbarking typically inducing mortality quickly, while many severely and even moderately rubbed plants progressively declined in health, eventually resulting in mortality.