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Forestry-style open-ground nursery methods

Getting realistic about including indigenous species in the one billion trees, at-scale

One billion trees and bugger the science

In 2004, $3 million over 5 years sounded like all Mahurangi’s Christmases had come at once. But a back-of-a-seed-packet calculation strongly suggested that the $3 million the former Auckland Regional Council had budgeted would barely…

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Time for councils to capitalise on open-ground trials

The Mahurangi trials, the Silverdale trials, and then those at Taupō, all said the same thing. Open-ground-raised indigenous plants, in all those trials, have been found to establish every bit as well as the same species—including mānuka—produced at many times…

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Mahurangi headwaters estimated not measured

In a straight line, the stream would run from Mahurangi to Palmerston North. That is, if all the streams in the Mahurangi catchment were laid end-to-end, and assuming, of course, that there was sufficient head to cause this hypothetical stream to run. Then…

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An indigenous farm-forestry demonstration trail

In an ideal world, the Mahurangi Magazine would stick to its knitting. It could focus on the environment of the Mahurangi catchment, particularly the harbour’s elevated sediment accumulation rate. In this ideal world, the global, big picture issue of…

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Handbook helps spark indigenous plant revolution

Twenty thousand down, and about as many again to go. This week field technician Michael Bergin remeasured two indigenous plants trial blocks in the Weiti catchment and started in on the trials in Sandspit Road. The trials are a world first in Aotearoa. They…

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Open-ground field days workshop notes

A considerable proportion of the pastoral land in Aotearoa, particularly riparian and marginal steep hill country, could be retired and established in indigenous species, which would improve environmental outcomes. On some sites retired…

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Standing room only and tail wind to Waiuku

It could be seen as the epitome of the failure of market forces. Raising indigenous plants by the open-ground method was always going to be more cost-effective, yet it was the many more times expensive planter bag method that became an overnight…

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State-owned enterprise open-ground 100%

Next week’s open-ground field days have just become a much bigger deal. Philip Smith of Taupō Native Plant Nursery said on Thursday that Landcorp has taken every open-ground plant they currently have growing, and that next year…

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Kinked root underlines open-ground strongpoint

One field day was never going to do it. Five field days might start to do justice to Gary Heaven and Shelley Trotter’s deer farming, farm forestry, riparian restoration, walkway and winery projects and operations. The previous field day, held in February, had left...

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Mya’s harbour-saving message on open-ground

I am explaining the importance of open-ground plants, because I think open-ground is the best way to provide plants to plant along the edges of rivers and streams. We need these areas planted to protect the Mahurangi’s benthic community…

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Not perfect but a field day and a half

The preceding two days’ weather had precipitated a trickle of apologies. However the day dawned as fine as the forecast charts, stemming what otherwise might have become a flood of cancellations, and vindicating the decision to charter a bus. With the…

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Open-ground indigenous plants establishment trials

Report to the Sustainable Farming Fund Aotearoa leads the world in radiata pine forestry. It also leads the world in radiata pine forestry nursery practices. Consequently, it is surprising that indigenous nursery practices have failed to piggyback on the success of…

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Dr David Bergin, Forester of the Year

Unintentionally, it had bordered on false advertising. To offer to prospective planters the prospect of discussing their interest in indigenous plants with one of Aotearoa’s most interesting tree scientists, Dr David Bergin. However, the volunteer…

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Science to underpin a revolution measuring success

Six thousand, two hundred and forty trees measured. To be precise, some were not so much measured, as their death or absence noted. Even so, research technician Michael Bergin took more than 18 000 measurements, the cack-handed editor’s…

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Time to cough up for key advice

Key advice leading to the open-ground project came from a person with no interest in open-ground methods whatsoever. It began with a silver-bullet mission. Could harakeke, produced in bulk and planted at every opportunity, provide a nurse…

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Open-ground indigenous plants one-pager

Kim Morresey suggested a one-pager might be useful. Having attended the open-ground open day in Taupō, Ms Morresey, project leader of the Mahurangi Action Plan, was acutely aware that the concept of raising plants other than in containers…

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Raising plants in open-ground beds

Raising plants open-ground can seem counterintuitive. It is easy to imagine that the best start in life a plant can have is to be lovingly raised in a pot in a nursery, and then carefully planted. But for foresters, raising plants in pots is downright potty

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Mahurangi helping Taupō, Taupō helping Mahurangi

In February 2007, a $81.5 million fund was established to protect Lake Taupō. The strategy was to head off the sort of degradation that Rotorua has been fighting at enormous expense for three decades, and will probably be fighting for at least…

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Open-ground indigenous plant trials another string

Dr David Bergin is well underway laying out the second and third open-ground trial sites, at Silverdale, using another mile of string and three of his adult and late-teens children. The site beside Sandspit Road is textbook—imminently accessible and…

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Open-ground open day that was a milestone

Milestone has become a somewhat devalued word. The open-ground open day at Taupō on Saturday was one of the stages that are termed milestones in the project’s contract with the Sustainable Farming Fund. Some of the milestones are rather…

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Planting day at Sullivans Bay: Think national, act local

Sunday’s weather was sublime, as was the planting at Sullivans Bay, on a number of levels. Regional councillor Christine Rose said to the writer on her arrival: I couldn’t resist your email! …notifying ‘Mahurangi and friends’ of the planting. Neighbouring [tooltip...

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Everything well in hand in Taupō

Nursery manager Philip Smith has got everything well in hand. My assistant Michael and I called in briefly last Monday at Taupō Native Plant Nursery, on way to a week working on a Wellington project. All the seed supplied from Mahurangi, from…

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Harry Bunn was indeed a wonderful man

What a great photograph of Jaap! Jaap’s reference to Harry at the end of his is Harry Bunn, former director of the biggest division at Forest Research Institute for many years up to his retirement in the mid-1980s. Harry, who died a couple of years ago…

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Notes for the nursery at Taupō

We assume that the polythene planter bag and Hillsons Rootrainer stock is going to be raised as per standard practice at Taupō. Taupō Native Plant Nursery’s way of doing things is probably little different from any other container nursery, so…

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Open-ground indigenous plants all go at Taupō

Sunday, Dr David Bergin and his assistant, his eldest son Michael, stopped at Mahurangi West on their way back from Northland. David and Michael had spent the previous week thinning and pruning naturally-regenerating stands of tōtara on…

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Plants for trials to be raised in Taupō

The Sustainable Farming Fund is laudably flexible. Recipients of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s fund are urged to speak up if, partway into a project, better outcomes can potentially be achieved by re-jigging the plan. The pilot open-ground…

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Open-ground indigenous plant project so far

Three small open-ground plots containing a total of around a thousand plants were established in the spring of 2006. The conditions at the Jones Road nursery proved to be very conducive for most of the indigenous species planted. From…

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Open-ground indigenous plant kick-start

It was right there, in the Sustainable Farming Fund criteria: “…the project will make a positive difference by actively addressing the problem/opportunity (e.g. it involves an innovative proposal and/or will kick-start something that has stalled…

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