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Murray’s Nursery Woodville, in the Tararua District of the southern North Island, became involved with the NZDFI early in 2015.
The nursery predominantly supplies high-quality radiata pine seedlings to large-scale forest owners, The radiata seedlings are grown on demand and to exacting specifications, using highly mechanised techniques.
The flat, fertile, irrigated land at the nursery was seen as being ideal for our needs, and some spare land was available.
Almost 9,000 E bosistoana and E argophloia seedlings were established in February and November 2015 as part of the project ‘Minimising growth-strain in eucalypts to transform processing’.
The E bosistoana seedlings, which made up the bulk of the planting, were from some 150 families.
Progress to date
The seedlings grew extremely fast. Their stems were pruned to a height of 40cm to make the planned testing for growth strain easier. The first batch of the seedlings were harvested in October 2016 at less than two years of age, and the cut stems were transported to the School of Forestry at Canterbury University for assessment. The next batch will be cut during 2017.
In addition, 30 families of E. tricarpa and 83 families of E. quadrangulata were planted in Nov 2016 to be assessed.
The project aims to develop techniques to identify growth strain at a very young age, enabling selection to minimise this trait.
This MPI Sustainable Farming Fund project is supported by a wider group of industry supporters outside of NZDFI.
Patrick Murray is the owner and manager of Murray’s Nurseries.
Dr Clemens Altaner leads the Growth Strain research at the School of Forestry. Contact Clemens for more information.