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Plant trees in the Hunua Ranges

Plant trees in the Hunua Ranges

10 May 2006

The planting season is upon us again – join Auckland Regional Council staff at Hunua Ranges Regional Park next week and help restore a native ecosystem.

Each year thousands of volunteers and ARC park staff brave all kinds of weather to plant tens of thousands of seedlings across the regional parks network.

What many people don’t realise is that a lot of careful planning goes into each planting season.

“The ARC eco-sources all of the seedlings that are planted each year,” says Cr Sandra Coney, Chair of the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee.

Eco-sourcing means that each seedling is returned to the area the seed came from.

“Seeds are collected on the parks and propagated into seedlings during the winter months. The seedlings are looked after at our nurseries until they are big enough for re-planting.

“We plan our planting, or re-vegetation, sites a few seasons in advance so when we are collecting seeds we know which areas to concentrate on,” she says.

The first step in the seed-raising process is a very important one and the ARC nurseries rely on assistance from others.

“In the summertime, rangers and volunteers collect seeds for me,” says Auckland Botanic Gardens nursery manager Wayne Dymond.

“The volunteers’ involvement means that I can grow enough plants for the coming planting seasons and also promotes an ongoing interest in the programme.”

The nursery cycle can take from nine months to three years depending on the type of species – large structure trees take the longest.

The nurseries bring on plants for native bush, wetland and coastal re-vegetation projects.

Join the volunteer planting day at Hunua Ranges Regional Park:

When: Wednesday 17 and Sunday 21 May

Time: 10am – 3pm

Where: Hunua Ranges Regional Park

Meet: Carpark below the Mangatawhiri Dam

What to bring: Work boots or enclosed shoes (not sandals), a spade (if you have one), gloves, a jacket, snacks and a water bottle (it’s thirsty work). We provide a sausage sizzle for lunch.

Planting days take place across the regional park network from May to July. Join your local planting day or visit somewhere new.

Plant varieties grown at ARC nurseries

Manuka and kanuka, hebe, cabbage trees, puriri, tairaire, akeake, kaihikatea, pseudopanax, whau, pingau, saltmarsh ribbonwood, flax, karamu, pohutukawa, mapou, ngaio, toi toi, and kowhai.

Directions to Hunua Ranges Regional Park

Travel south on State Highway 1 and take the Papakura exit. Follow Beach Road across Great South Road and along Settlement Road. Turn right by Edmund Hillary School, into Hunua Road. Follow Hunua Road through the Hunua Gorge and a further 8km from Hunua village, you turn left into Moumoukai Road, this becomes a gravel winding road and takes you to the meeting point at the carpark below Mangatawhiri Dam.


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