Alpine ash seed collected for Victorian bushfire regeneration program

Alpine Ash seed is being collected in Bago State Forest near Tumbarumba to be used in the Victorian bushfire regeneration program.

State Forests Tumbarumba forest manager Chris Rhynehart said the collection was underway now and due to be completed in the next few months.

“It is very satisfying for State Forests to be able to be involved in a project that will help regenerate fire ravaged areas of forest,” he said.

Mr Rhynehart said the seed, being collected by an ACT contractor Mr Kevin Johnson who manages Kylisa Seeds Limited, was collected from trees that are due to be harvested soon.

The operation involves a seed collector climbing 30 to 40 metre high trees, right to the crown, and loping the seed-laden branches.

Once on the ground, the seeds are cut from the branchlets with secateurs and put into woolsacks for transportation to Kylisa Seed’s kilns at Canberra.

Seed is then extracted and prepared for aerial sowing.

“It is a great opportunity to utilise the excellent seed crops in Bago State Forest,” Mr Johnson said.

He said seed harvesting was a specialised operation.

“The collectors have to have very good climbing skills and they use climbing spurs and rigging,” Mr Johnson said.

He said Kylisa Seeds also does a lot of seed harvesting in Victoria and has a workshop at Taralgon.

Mr Johnson has contracts to provide seed for the Jounama revegetation program near Talbingo in Kosciuszko National Park.

Media contacts: Chris Rhynehart on (02) 6948 2400 or Kevin Johnson on (02) 6288 7408.