Pine tree seedlings in short supply after poor growing season

Patrick Murray with pinus radiata at his nursery in Woodville.

Patrick Murray with pinus radiata at his nursery in Woodville.

A shortage of pine tree seedlings after a poor growing season for tree nurseries has hit some forest owners and farm foresters.

Patrick Murray ,who is owner of Murray's Nurseries at Woodville in Tararua, said he had turned down orders of 1.2 million pines.

"We grew around five million pinus radiata but could easily have sold more.  It has been a wet summer and poor autumn and that affected badly the growth of the trees."

Patrick Murray says there is a shortage of pines.

Patrick Murray says there is a shortage of pines.

He said there was interest in new plantings by many people who had put off planting for a couple of years, as well as the big forest-owners replacing trees that had been harvested.

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"The majority of our trees are grown under contract for big forests - about 60 per cent.  The rest goes to forest consultants in the lower North Island and some to farm foresters."

Murray said root growth and young pine circumference was impacted by the poor summer and autumn weather.

Forest company Juken Nissho's forest manager, Sean McBride said they provided the seed to the Woodville nursery which grew it on for them.

"We have trees and will be able to re-establish the areas we had planned, but the trees will be a little smaller than usual, and they'll be spaced a little further apart than usual."

He said most of their forests were in the eastern hills of Wairarapa.

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McBride said they also sent seedlings to their Gisborne forests and they would be hit with the same issues.

Murray said he had talked to other nursery owners and the poor growing season was reasonably widespread across the North Island.

 - Stuff

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