800,000 trees to be planted
Hancock Victoria Plantations (HVP) will replant 600 hectares of terrain across the Alpine Shire this winter following the previous 12 months’ harvesting operations.
Planting locations will be in the Happy Valley and Merriang areas as well as in Bright around Quinns Gap/Mountain Mist and above the Great Alpine Road at Porepunkah.
Pine clearing operations will also continue over the coming months with harvesting and haulage around Tower Hill set to take place through to November.
“All of our operations contribute to the overall plantation lifecycle,” said HVP Northern Region general manager Anne Partridge.
“Harvesting is staggered across the landscape in a patchwork of age classes.
“The harvested areas are then prepared for winter planting when soil moisture is right for new pine trees to be successfully established.”
Ms Partridge said trees are harvested as each section of plantation reaches maturity at between 25 and 30 years.
Logs are then transported to local and regional customers in Myrtleford, Wangaratta, Benalla and Albury, and into NSW.
“Thinning operations also produce timber part way through the rotation by removing a selection of trees and keeping the best performers through to final harvest,” she said.
Recent rain was very welcome in the lead-up to winter however Ms Partridge said they looked forward to more so that crews could begin planting 800,000 trees on sites across the Ovens District.
She said a large number of locals made up the workforce to keep the plantations safe and productive.
“Jobs are diverse such as machinery operation, planning and environmental stewardship, leadership and management oversight, OHS coordination, fire crew, and silviculture crews controlling weeds and planting trees,” Ms Partridge said.
While harvesting continues Ms Partridge said some areas and roads in local plantations would remain closed.
“We need to keep operational worksites safe, so it is crucial that everyone adheres to safety signage,” she said.
“It’s essential that members of the public do not walk, drive or ride past worksite signs, or go around or through barriers such as temporary fencing or gates.
“We have discussed the issue of unauthorised access to worksites with local police.”
Greg Smyth inspects a delivery of seedlings at the HVP Myrtleford depot.
HVP Northern Region general manager Anne Partridge.