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Mass rata planting planned on Tinakori Hill

17 June 2005

Mass rata planting planned on Tinakori Hill

More than 7500 northern rata are destined for Tinakori Hill over the next five years and on Sunday 26 June the community can pitch in to plant some of the first 1500.

Planting is planned from 9am to midday and anyone interested should meet at the community tennis court at the top of Weld Street, in Wadestown, and bring gloves and a spade if possible.

Local school children will be doing their bit earlier in the week, planting on Wednesday (Wadestown School), Thursday (Northland School) and Friday (St Mary’s College).

The project is a joint venture between the City Council, the community and Project Crimson, a charitable conservation trust established to protect pohutukawa and rata in New Zealand.

The Council’s Berhampore Nursery Manager, Jonathan Bussell, says Project Crimson approached the Council following last year’s storms. It suggested planting 1500 northern rata in designated sites each year for five years with the help of the local community.

“The site has been cleared and the plants are ready to go in,” he says. “This year’s plants have been grown from local Wellington seed by a Taupo nursery, but future seedlings will be propagated and grown at the Council nursery.”

Project Crimson began doing restoration work through community partnerships 15 years ago. Since then, over 250,000 trees have been planted around New Zealand with the help of thousands of volunteers.

Project Crimson Executive Director Bridget Abernethy is very pleased to be involved in the project which is the first major planting for the trust in the Wellington region.

“The trees will eventually give the hillside a crimson glow during summer and change the Wellington skyline for centuries,” she says.

Northern rata (Metrosideros robusta) are indigenous to the Wellington area, live for hundreds of years and will be better suited to windy conditions than the ageing pines they will replace.

ENDS

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