March April Round Up

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SEEDS WANTED

We have the generous offer by Zealandia to propagate locally collected seeds for us but very few so far to give them. So, please, look around your place and see what is available, particularly manuka, kanuka, coprosma, flax, grasses, and other wetland species. Take a bowl or bucket along, strip or shake off the seed pods into the bucket, sieve to remove the debris and save the good stuff in a paper bag labeled with the source, Drop off at our nursery at the entrance to Conmara Farm, behind the Co-op on Clevedon’s main street, on any Thursday from 4 to 6 pm or 10.30 to 11.30 am on 6th and April 18th. Alternatively drop in the letter box at 140 North Road, (next to Woodzone), or contact Jane warbycox@xtra.co.nz to arrange collection.

PLANTS TO GO UPDATE

Many thanks to all of you who have already been along to collect plant and particularly to Jim Peters for being on the job helping customers at the nursery. There are still plenty left, especially taupata (coprosma repens) manatu (ribbonwood), totara and kowhai, so please call in on Thurs 6th April 10.30-11.30 or Thurs 13th April 5.00 to 6.00pm and take your pick. Otherwise, phone Jim Peters on 2928 850 to arrange a time. It will be a good time to start planting soon With the ground wet and warm the plants will get a good start.

WEED AND ANIMAL PEST CONTROL

Council will support pest control work by community groups that have a co-ordinated plan with a leader and a team. We need a few people to take on this role. For further information please contact Tony thelton@xtra.co.nz .

EXOTIC SPECIES FOR RIPARIAN AREAS AND SLOPE STABILISATION

The recent flooding has shown the value of some species of exotic trees in preventing slips, surviving flooding in riparian areas, and providing some economic as well as ecological benefits. For example:

  • Many exotic species grow much faster and are deeper rooting that indigenous species. EG: Poplar, Italian and Red Alder (Alnus cordata and A. Rubra), some eucalyptus and some willows.
  • Poplars are very easy to plant and protect from stock; quick growing provide fodder for stock in dry periods, help prevent facial eczema, can be pruned to produce light, knot free timber or pollarded or coppiced to control height and provide an ongoing source of food for stock.
  • Eucalyptus. Timber from E. boisistoana, E. quadrangulata and E. microcarpa is Class 1 ground durable so useful for fences posts and is in demand for vineyard posts as no CCA treatment needed so a potential source of income.
  • Red Alder is easily established, fixes nitrogen, fairly quick growing, roots do not clog waterways, easy to mill and season and produces a stable, medium density timber suitable for panelling, joinery and furniture.
  • Unlike native trees, exotics can be cut down for any reason and produce timber, firewood, mulch or chips for paper production.
  • Higher value timber trees can stand the cost of harvesting selectively to leave a continuous cover canopy and is relatively easy and inexpensive to extract from riparian strips.

PREPARATION FOR PLANTING

This is the time of year to plan and prepare site for planting from May onwards. Long established weeds may need several applications of herbicide over the next few weeks. If you are unsure of weed species and the best way to deal with them visit www.rainbowbrown.co.nz/weed-files. You will find well illustrated descriptions of a great many weeds and options for getting rid of them. If you prefer not to use herbicides, lay squares of old carpet, weedmat, cardboard or similar well before planting. This leaves a weed square ready to plant and the squares can be slit and placed around the plant, providing on-going weed control, avoiding the tedious task of releasing later.
For woody weeds and others with thick stems, cut the stem and paste with a 20: 1 mix of triclopyr based herbicides (E.G. Grazon, Tordon, Grassmate) or glyphosate, or buy a readymade paste such as Vigilant gel.
For information on indigenous species and planting, Auckland Council produce a very good range of fact sheets in print and on line. For example: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/environmentwaste/coastalmarine/Documents/streamsideplantingguide.pdf

RIPARIAN WORKSHOP REPORT

by Katie Jones, Wairoa River Steering Group Coordinator.
28 landowners from across the Wairoa catchment, including Ness Valley, Clevedon and Hunua areas attended the Auckland Council Riparian Management Workshop on Saturday 18th March in Clevedon. Biosecurity, Bio Diversity and Freshwater experts from Auckland Council presented information on why looking after streams is so important, how to plan a riparian planting project and how to control weeds and pests on your property. The workshop was supported by the Wairoa River Steering Group, which was formed to create an Action Plan to protect and restore the Wairoa River and feeder streams in the Wairoa catchment. For more information about the Steering Group or the workshop, please email katie.jones@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

WAIROA RIVER STEERING GROUP

At the last meeting on March 23rd members discussed ways and means of supporting and engaging those who responded to the questionnaires sent out recent by Council and other interested landowners. The holding of a second workshop, with the focus on flooding was discussed and supported. The Workshop on 18th March (Report above) was a full house and at least 10 people unable to be housed and more were unable to attend due to the floods. Group Coordinator Katie Jones presented a draft Action Plan and list of specific projects for consideration and further discussion by the Group at its next meeting.