More than seven million pine seedlings are being dispatched from Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Blowering Nursery near Tumut this winter, which is one of the largest crops since the nursery began producing containerised seedlings a little over a decade ago.
Phil Green, Plantation Improvement Manager, said the 7.4 million seedlings will be sent out to restock timber plantations near Tumut, Bombala, Bathurst and Walcha.
“Over the last 20 years, Forestry Corporation’s Blowering nursery has seen over 140 million seedlings pass through our gates to help build people’s homes and workplaces,” Mr Green said.
“We have 16 staff on board to help with the grading and dispatch program which runs for five months.
“At the height of the dispatch program, it is not uncommon to send upwards of 800,000 seedlings out of the nursery gate in a week.
Mr Green said preparations for the massive seedling dispatch began in October last year, when the team at the nursery planted more than 340 kilograms of seed into individual cells.
“These seedlings are going to become future generations’ homes and furniture, so we go to great lengths to ensure we produce high quality, robust seedlings that will produce strong and straight timber when they are ready for harvest in 30 years,” Mr Green said.
“We use different seeds for seedlings destined to be planted in different parts of the estate so that the seedlings have the best chance of thriving in their environment and growing into high-quality timber.
“Over the past eight months, we have carefully fertilised, watered and nurtured our seedlings, regularly measuring the stem diameter, height and nutrient status of seedlings in sample plots throughout the nursery and we are now assessing each individual seedling to ensure it meets our high standards.
“Forestry Corporation replants the equivalent of almost 300 times the area of Sydney’s CBD to pine plantations each year and around 85 per cent of the seedlings replanted state-wide are grown here at Blowering, so it’s a role we take very seriously,” Mr Green concludes.