Some of the species on this list are threatened in the Wellington Region, if not nationally. Alepis flavida, Brachyglottis kirkii var kirkii, Pseudopanax ferox and Streblus banksii. Availability of these uncommon species will be intermittent if available at all; however their inclusion is highly desirable due to their threatened status in the Wellington Conservancy. However, it is not proposed that they be planted unless there is broad scientific agreement planting such species will not compromise the ecological integrity of the vegetation being established.
During the first 3 years of planting a priority list of species from the full list will be implemented. This is in part for early success and the availability of plants. Most species can be planted in a range of environments being hardy and tolerant. Over time as planting techniques and sites become more familiar and a good network of volunteers is established other species from the full list can be planted.
The priority list is as follows:
The initial plants for the project are being purchased from local nurseries and are supplied in root trainers (RTT larger size) and PB3 size bags. Plants from nurseries should be delivered to the planting site or a nearby holding site at least one month prior to planting. This hardens the plants off to the local conditions. Plants going into the ground directly from the nursery can suffer a shock which may have a negative impact on survival.
A characteristic of NZ plants is the diversity found within the species. The same species may occur in several different forms throughout the country. Switching plants around from one area of the country to another has created a problem botanists refer to as genetic pollution. To avoid genetic pollution ensure the following is adhered to:
Always collect seed from the same ecological district you want to do the planting in.
In preference, collect seed from the same catchment. Only where practicable.
The Catchpool Valley falls within the Tararua Ecological District. Nurseries should be able to provide plants grown from seed that has been collected from within this Ecological District. Seed from the Wellington Ecological District will also be acceptable. It should be clear that commercial nurseries should meet this requirement.
Catchpool nursery establishment
The Rimutaka Forest Park Trust does not propose building a full nursery at the Catchpool – only a holding area where potted transplants can be held for periods of weeks or months. Establishment of a full nursery implies a new and time-consuming commitment by Trust members/volunteers at a time when Trust volunteers are already logistically stretched with trapping, managing the kiwi project and working to achieve other objectives that have priority because they are central to the aims of the Trust. A time-consuming seedling germination
, potting and transplanting programme is not realistic and is not a Trust priority. The Trust prefers that the commercial nursery industry should continue to tackle the technically exacting task of growing seedlings. Specific well-grown tree-stocks can be bought as and when needed. This will enable the Trust with DOC concurrence to procure good quality, competitively priced plants of the species we require and it avoids the logistical and volunteer commitment problems that will inevitably arise if the Trust attempts to grow tree-stocks from seed or cuttings.
It is however desirable that a small tree-stock holding area be built that will incorporate measures to limit weed growth and for seedling irrigation.
Consultation with existing commercial nurseries and forest and bird nurseries will provide the advice and necessary expertise.
Possible contacts for this are:
Former Manager WCC nursery
F & B home nursery manager
Stan Butcher & Alex Kettles
F & B Matiu revegetation programme
The planting season should generally be between April and the end of August. This is when the ground is at its most moist and is not an active growing time. Come spring the plants should be used to the soil conditions and should begin to establish their root systems for the growing season. Planting technique is vital to the success of any restoration project planting. Plant survival percentages are directly related the technique and quality of the planting process. While it might seem like a simple thing to do correctly, there are some pointers below that should be followed to help ensure that maximum numbers of plants survive. The planting sites at Catchpool experience harsh conditions especially during the summer months when it becomes hot and dry and poorly planted plant are most likely to die. The focus of plantings should be on QUALITY not quantity. There is the tendency to aim for a certain number of trees to be planted per group. This can lead to poor planting if there is an expectation that all the plants must go in.