8 million new pine trees in state forests this year

Forestry Corporation has wrapped up the 2005 planting season, with nearly 8 million pine seedlings planted across the State’s forests this year.

The new plantings component brings the State owned total pine plantation estate to over 218,000 hectares. Over 6,000 hectares of harvested plantation areas have been replanted.

The 2005 plantings form part of the State Government’s efforts to help ensure a sustainable pine industry across NSW. They will also help the environment, by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.

Forestry Corporation staff normally plant between 7 and 8 million new pine trees every year in areas that have been previously harvested, and in new plantation areas.

The ongoing drought threatened to reduce the total number of new seedlings that could be planted earlier in the year, but late winter rains provided just enough soil moisture to allow the full season’s plantings to go ahead.

These new seedlings will support softwood plantation industries, which contribute over $1.4 billion to the State’s economy each year and provide around 3,800 direct jobs in communities throughout regional NSW.

NSW pine sawlogs are processed into timber frames that help build more than 30,000 new Australian homes each year.

They also go into a host of other products for structural, industrial, agricultural and landscaping purposes.

The 8 million new seedlings planted this year will help ensure regional communities can continue to rely on a sustainable supply of pine saw logs, and they will provide industry with the confidence to invest in plantation projects in NSW.

A summary of plantings across the State includes:

  • Southwest Slopes (Tumut, Batlow and Tumbarumba districts) - 3.4 million radiata pine seedlings planted over 2,500 hectares of previously harvested plantations. Seedlings have also been planted over 850 hectares of new privately owned plantation south of Tumbarumba, which Forestry Corporation is managing for its latest plantation partner, Rothchilds Australia Group.
  • Central West (Bathurst, Orange and Oberon districts) - 2.8 million radiata pine seedlings have been planted. This includes 600 hectares of new pine and nearly 2,200 hectares of second rotation pine. The Central West region supplies timber for the construction of more than 10 per cent of new Australian homes.
  • The Northern Region (Casino, Nundle, Glen Innes and Walcha districts) - Forestry Corporation staff have planted 700,000 seedlings of southern pine, radiata pine and hoop pine. The new plantings bring the total area of public pine plantation in the region to 24,200 hectares.
  • Monaro Region (including the Bombala and Moss Vale districts) – 1 million pine seedlings have been planted. This includes 300 hectares of new plantation and some 700 hectares of second rotation pine on land that has previously been harvested to support the local industry.