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Planting has begun of 4.4 million seedlings in the South West Slopes of NSW around Tumut, Batlow and Tumbarumba.
Minister for Forest Resources, Paul McLeay, said around 4,200 hectares will be planted in areas previously planted to pine and should finish by mid September.
“These plantings are part of a much bigger picture which provides important jobs and products for the local timber industry,” Mr McLeay said.
“The planting of bare-rooted and containerised seedlings is going well.
“While the weather is cooler and wetter, our teams are working hard to make the most of the good planting conditions. Soil moisture is very important when establishing the seedlings.
“In order to make sure all the planting is completed within the tight timeframe, and due to the scale of the operation, additional labour has been employed.
“This planting season we are employing five contract planting crews, which involves about 100 people. This is in addition to our existing Forests NSW crews.
Country Labor’s Tony Catanzariti said approximately 2,500 hectares of pine was being planted in the Bondo area near Tumut. The remainder will be planted around Batlow in Green Hills State Forest and at Carabost near Rosewood.
“This replanting is part of on-going program to replace harvested forest, It also includes the long-term goal to complete the re-establishment of almost 9,000 hectares burnt in the Billo Road Fire in December 2006,” Mr Catanzariti said.
Mr Catanzariti said as part of the plantation life cycle, areas were harvested to provide sawlogs for the local timber industry.
“Following the final harvest these areas are re-established by planting approximately 1,000 trees a hectare.
“Most of the seedlings are raised by Forests NSW nursery near Blowering Dam, while seedlings are also being sourced from Forests NSW Narrandera nursery.
“The beauty 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,” Mr Catanzariti said.