Nine millionth seed planted as Blowering nursery wraps up sowing season

The Blowering Nursery in Tumut has planted its nine millionth pine seed for 2018 as the annual six-week sowing program concludes.

This is the start of a journey which will see the nursery dispatch a pine seedling in eight to eleven months, to be planted and help reforest several thousand hectares of pine plantations across NSW.

NSW's largest radiata pine seedling production nursery employs a casual workforce of 13 staff who sow around 250,000 seeds a day, six days a week, throughout the course of the sowing period.

Forestry Corporation of NSW's Strategy and Risk Manager Gavin Jeffries said the nursery is a crucial component of Forestry Corporation’s operations.

“Wood is the ultimate renewable resource – our forests are regrown or replanted to continue the forest cycle into the future," Mr Jeffries said.

"We've dispatched more than 133 million seedlings from Blowering Nursery over the last 19 years which will ultimately help build people’s homes and vital infrastructure.

"Over the past winter alone we planted almost nine million seedlings across more than 8,250 hectares of state-owned plantations. This is roughly the equivalent of 17,000 football fields, and 7.3 million of those seedlings were grown right here in Tumut.”

Over the coming 10 months, the crop will be carefully hand-weeded, fertilised, nurtured and watered to produce seedlings in time for planting over June to August.

"In around May next year, we expect a crop of more than seven million high quality seedlings to be ready to leave Blowering Nursery to re-establish plantations around NSW," Mr Jeffries said.

"These seedlings will be used to re-establish the state-owned pine plantations that have been or are currently being harvested. This includes plantations near Bathurst, Lithgow, Oberon, Tumbarumba, Bombala, Orange, Walcha and Tumut, where the seedlings will be hand planted over the 2019 winter.

"In addition to the crop at Blowering, we are producing seedlings from our other production nursery in Grafton and we will draw the rest of our supply requirement from private nurseries under contract."

Forestry Corporation is Australia’s largest producer of plantation-grown radiata pine, managing more than 200,000 hectares of plantations around the state and producing more than 3.5 million tonnes of timber each year. This is enough to construct around a quarter of all houses built in Australia each year.

Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428 058 549