A ground-breaking replanting program has seen more than 40-million seedlings planted in New South Wales pine forests since the 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires.
Almost three years on from the state’s bushfire emergency and the recovery effort in Forestry Corporation’s softwood plantations continues.
As New South Wales prepares for another bushfire season, Forestry Corporation has acknowledged the hard work in forest management that has occurred across the state.
The accelerated planting programs undertaken over the past three years have seen extensive replantings in state forests near Tumut, Bombala, Bathurst, Walcha and Grafton.
Pine forests in the state’s south were among the hardest hit areas by bushfire, as more than five million hectares of land was burnt across New South Wales.
This included 25 per cent of the state-owned pine plantations, which are intended to provide timber for housing construction in the future.
In Tumut, more than 24-million pine seedlings have since been replanted in fire-affected pine forests.
“The 230,000 hectares of pine plantations in New South Wales are carefully managed while they grow to maturity and harvesting just a small portion each year produces enough timber to construct about a quarter of the homes built in Australia each year,” Silviculture Manager Roger Davies said.
“In Tumut three-quarters of the pine forests impacted by the bushfires have now been replanted.
“The pine seedlings planted this winter will in two to three decades time become the housing timber supply for future generations here in New South Wales,” he said.
In the state’s north at Grafton more than 4-million pine trees have been replanted across 4,000 hectares of pine forests, impacted by bushfires.
The trees are grown from seed and raised at Forestry Corporation’s nurseries at Tumut and Grafton before being distributed around the state for replanting programs.
Planting is done mostly by hand with a skilled tree planted able to plant about 2000 seedlings in a day.
The radiata pine seedlings planted this winter will be available to harvest for fibre extraction in 15 years and for structural timber in 28 years.