Family clears thousands of pines

18:26, Jan 31 2013
wilding pine
WILDING EFFORT: Thomas, 17, James, 16, and Tristan Stevenson, 15, hard at work in the Mackenzie basin. The brothers helped remove more than 9100 wilding trees over the summer.

A Dunedin family got their hands dirty over the summer holidays, removing thousands of wilding pines from the Mackenzie Basin.

Thomas, James and Tristan Stevenson, with the help of father Scott Drummond, pulled out most of the wilding pines at Lake Poaka and Loch Cameron.

"We were lounging around one day, and I decided we should go into the local Conservation Department office to see whether they had any activities going on," Mr Drummond said.

"One of the rangers suggested we helped remove the wilding pines, and it just went from there."

Mr Drummond said the family must have spent around 40 hours tackling the trees during the holiday.

"We really enjoying camping in the Mackenzie, and this is our way of doing something for the environment," he said.


Community relations ranger Kiersten McKinley said the family would have removed more than 9100 wilding pines over the summer holidays.

"It was just awesome, they went out there and did it," she said.

Mr Drummond said the wildings ranged from a few centimetres to half a metre in height.

"We used a decent set of loppers to remove the bigger ones, but most of them were done with our hands. We could see the results even after a few days. It could become a new summer tradition for the family."

The Timaru Herald