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3.8 million trees for the central west

Planting has begun of more than 3.8m seedlings in the Central West in State Forests near Bathurst, Lithgow, Orange and Oberon.

Minister for Forest Resources Paul McLeay, said around 3100ha will be planted until mid September.

“These plantings are part of a much bigger picture which provides important jobs and timber products for the local industry,” McLeay said.

“When the area is harvested it provides a range of forest products such as logs for the construction of housing, fencing, decking, posts and rails.

“Following the final harvest, the area will be re-established by planting approximately 1100 trees a hectare.

Member for Bathurst, Gerard Martin said the re-establishment process is vital to the sustainability of the Central West forestry industry.

“Around 940 people are employed across the forest management and timber processing sectors,” Martin said.

“Due to the scale of this season’s operation, additional labour has been employed to ensure planting can be completed in a tight timeframe.

“As well as Forests NSW crews, this planting season we are employing three contract planting crews and this involves about 40 people.

“The plantings are progressing well. The weather was quite mild initially, and we would have liked colder conditions, but since then we’ve had excellent rainfall and some good frosts. Conditions couldn’t be better,” Martin said.

McLeay said planting involved using a mix of bare-rooted and containerised seedlings raised by Forests NSW nurseries at Tumut, Narrandera and Grafton.

“The benefit of containerised stock is that if conditions are not right, the seedlings can be held until the optimum time to plant, and even held over to the following year’s planting season if necessary,” McLeay said.