Australian Forests and Timber

Winter planting underway

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FORESTRYSA will plant 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. 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,” Mr Merry said.

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

“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 30year 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.

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