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Almost 500,000 pine seedlings for Mount Lofty plantation estate

ForestrySA is planting 480,000 pine seedlings across its Mount Lofty Ranges plantation estate this winter as part of its 2019 plantation reestablishment program. More than 320 hectares of recently harvested pine plantation will be planted by mid-August across nine sites within the Kuitpo, Mount Crawford and Second Valley Forest Reserves. Source: Timberbiz

Local contractors are engaged to complete the planting program, employing a mix of permanent and seasonal workers.

Commercial Operations Manager Peter Merry oversees ForestrySA’s annual planting program and explained it requires thorough planning, preparation and coordination.

Site preparation, cultivation and weed control needs, natural features and heritage conservation, as well as stakeholder interests are all considered on a site-specific basis.

“Planning starts long before the first seedling goes into the ground,” he said.

“Commencement of planting this year was pushed back to late June due to the delay in the break of the season.

“Tree planters will endure challenging wintery conditions hand-planting approximately 1000 trees each per day.

“Optimising young plantation establishment is critical due to the long-term nature of forestry – the seedlings we plant this season will set up a more than 30-year investment commitment.”

This year ForestrySA is partnering with the Southern Tree Breeding Association to establish a genetic gains trial at one of the planting sites. The results of the trial will be shared with other softwood plantation managers in Southern Australia.

ForestrySA manages more than 10,000ha of plantation pine across the Mount Lofty Ranges. The business is committed to the responsible and sound environmental management of its plantation and native forests.

Its Forest Management System is certified to the internationally recognised Australian Forestry Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AS4708) known as Responsible Wood.