Eleven million trees start their journey at Blowering Nursery

Edwina Mason 8 December 2021 18
Forestry Corporation of NSW worker planting seeds at Blowering Nursery

Blowering Nursery staff have sown around 300,000 seeds a day to supply the 2022 planting program fro Forestry Corporation of NSW. Photo: Forestry Corporation of NSW.

On the back of a record 2021 planting season, Forestry Corporation of NSW’s 2022 seedling crop is well and truly underway with 11 million radiata pine (Pinus radiata) sown in the organisation’s Blowering Nursery, near Tumut.

Forestry Corporation of NSW plantation improvement manager Phil Green said during the past eight weeks, nursery staff have sown around 300,000 seeds a day to supply the 2022 planting program.

“The process starts in September and moves through cycles of seed stratification, sowing, crop tending, topping, consolidation, and ultimately dispatch in the winter months between May and September,” he explained.

All up, 430kg of seed were sown at the Blowering Nursery this year for the 2022 forestry planting program.

Radiata pine seedling

The new radiata pine seedling crop at Blowering Nursery will be carefully hand-weeded, fertilised, nurtured and watered to produce seedlings in time for planting next winter. Photo: Forestry Corporation of NSW.

“We’ve dispatched more than 70 million containerised seedlings from Blowering nursery during the past 10 years, which have ultimately helped build people’s homes and vital infrastructure,” said Mr Green.

This year, 16 million pine and hardwood seedlings were hand-planted, a record effort to rebuild state plantation forests lost in the Black Summer bushfires and previously harvested areas.

Forestry Corporation of NSW strategy and risk manager Gavin Jeffries said last winter’s 14,000 hectare record softwood planting was an important milestone in the organisation’s bushfire recovery program, but it was not without its challenges.

“With around one-third of state forest plantations affected by the 2019-2020 fire season, we’ve expanded and fast-tracked our nursery programs in time for a record 2021 season,” he said.

“As seedlings needed to be hand-planted, this year also presented a series of issues connected to COVID-19 restrictions and our contractors securing workers on the ground.

“Fortunately we’ve been able to work through these and adapt, even planting an additional 1300 hectares than planned due to the high seedling quality this year.”

These trees will grow for around 30 years before being harvested for renewable timber products such as timber framing, kitchens and flooring.

Forestry Corporation of NSW Snowy regional manager Dean Anderson said the past 18 months have seen a massive effort by the organisation’s staff and contractors to recover from the impacts of the Black Summer bushfires.

“Not only have we seen a record replanting program successfully implemented, our teams have also salvaged more than three million tonnes of fire-affected timber and implemented a $1.63 million upgrade to increase seedling production capacity in our Blowering Nursery,” he said.

“While there will still be challenges ahead, the industry remains positive and focused on the future.”

The 2021 seedling crop was predominantly grown in Forestry Corporation’s Tumut and Grafton production nurseries (12 million seedlings) following upgrades in 2020.

Forest burning during bushfire

More than five million hectares of NSW was impacted by 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires across national parks, state forests and private property. Photo: Supplied.

The remaining 3.8 million seedlings were grown under contract with other nurseries in Narromine and Colac.

Forestry Corporation’s nursery upgrades were funded through a $46 million equity injection from the NSW Government, and part of the larger $100 million COVID-19 stimulus package, designed to directly stimulate economies in regional NSW.

During the coming year, the new seedling crop will be carefully hand-weeded, fertilised, nurtured and watered to produce seedlings in time for planting next winter.

“Our nursery staff will also regularly sample the stem diameter, height and nutrient status of seedlings throughout the nursery before being individually assessed to make sure they meet our high standards,” said Mr Green.

“The seedlings we plant today will grow into the trees that are used in paper, packaging, new houses, home extensions and backyard fences when the plantations are harvested 15 to 35 years from now.

“It is exciting to see it start with one tiny seed.”

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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18 Responses to Eleven million trees start their journey at Blowering Nursery
Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:11 am 15 Dec 21

“If only we had addressed climate change earlier.”

Pine plantations have been around a lot longer than the concept of man-made climate change.

Philip James Reiffel Reiffel Philip James Reiffel Reiffel 10:02 pm 14 Dec 21

Native animals will find them useless, that's just replanting pine trees for business. Nothing really achieved here for the environment. Nothing even lives under them.

Wynnow Crowder Wynnow Crowder 1:26 pm 14 Dec 21

Why plant radiata pines? Creating a monoculture of European trees is not ‘regrowing forests’.

    Tony Holliday Tony Holliday 2:20 pm 14 Dec 21

    Firstly, Radiata pines originated in USA not Europe (Monterey Pine).

    Secondly, they are ideally suited to Southern Australian conditions and are an excellent source of softwood which suit a wide range of uses in the building industry and reduces the need to import timber.

    Scott Smith Scott Smith 2:25 pm 14 Dec 21

    Wynnow Crowder radiata is what was burned. Its Idealic to replace with the same species.

    Scott Smith Scott Smith 2:28 pm 14 Dec 21

    Also a huge majority or of the burned area is forestry land. And where it wasn't. Many native trees survived anyway

    Hazel Jones Hazel Jones 5:37 pm 14 Dec 21

    Wynnow Crowder yes, you are correct. A monoculture of radiata pine may be good for the construction and associated industries but will not help one bit with the reestablishment of many native marsupials, birds, insects and invertebrate species that were wiped out in some areas due to the nature of these trees and forests.

Lyn Clarke Lyn Clarke 9:27 am 14 Dec 21

Let’s hope they are native trees not pine

Paul Mathews Paul Mathews 12:43 pm 13 Dec 21

great. Now the neighbours BARKING DOG will have somewhere to pee :P

Tramcar Trev Tramcar Trev 9:25 am 13 Dec 21

The forestry comission used to grow lots of different specis for sale to the public around 80cents a tube.

Leanne Kakoulidis Leanne Kakoulidis 7:12 am 13 Dec 21

The pine plantations, and red tape are the reason for the fires being so bad. I watched them burn from my house, absolutely unstoppable

    Jayden Hackett Jayden Hackett 8:57 am 14 Dec 21

    Richard Windsor that's from Wikipedia like im going to believe it

    Richard Windsor Richard Windsor 8:33 am 15 Dec 21

    Jayden Hackett Never let facts stand in the way of a good story :-). In this case, the quote is in Wikipedia but taken directly from the primary source in case you hadn't noticed. :-(

Elizabeth Ann Thurbon Elizabeth Ann Thurbon 9:41 pm 12 Dec 21

Fantastic move. If only we had addressed climate change earlier.

Onelia Herriot Onelia Herriot 5:12 pm 12 Dec 21

Please remember that baby trees need a lot of water in their first year!

Don't just plant and forget.

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 4:52 pm 11 Dec 21

Wow maybe Alistair Coe and the Libs could have made the tree planting quota based on this… 🤣😆😊

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