More than 16 million pine and hardwood seedling have been hand planted in the New South Wales, Australia’s (NSW) forests this year to help rebuild the forestlands that were destroyed by the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019–2020. The trees will grow for approximately 30-years and then be harvested for renewable timber products.
The NSW state-owned Forestry Corporation manages more than 2 million hectares of NSW’s forests.
According to Gavin Jefferies, Forestry Corporation’s Strategy and Risk Manager, “Timber is a long-term cyclical product with the seedlings planted today growing into the house frames, kitchen cupboards and flooring of tomorrow.”
Mr. Jeffries added that the COVID-19 restrictions presented a significant challenge for workers planting the seedlings. “As seedlings need to be hand planted, this year also presented a series of issues connected to COVID restrictions and our contractors’ securing workers on the ground. Fortunately, we’ve been able to work through these and adapt, even planting an additional 1,300 ha than planned due to the high seedling quality this year.”
Most of the seedling crop was grown in regional NSW nurseries including Tumut, Grafton, Narromine, and Colac. The 2022 planting season has already begun with another 13 million seedlings to be sown by the end of winter next year.
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Millions of trees planted after NSW Black Summer bushfires