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August, 2014

Mystery Creek Report 2014

Waikato Farm Forestry Branch flew the associations flag once more.

Our strategy was to put a huge Syncarpia post in the ground on the roadside of our site, backed up by smaller durable eucalyptus posts which visitors could lift out of the ground to inspect. These posts had all come from Lower North branches Orewa Conference 2013, when we had a Pick a Post competition.

The Syncarpia “defect split” was a great opportunity to talk about the importance of even and equal distant greater spacing requirements for growing hard woods.

Was our strategy successful – half pie! It was great when we got a few young fellows to bang a nail in the syncarpia – they found the syncarpia was not too hard at all.

This year was a mixed bag. Three weeks before fieldays a Chinese led wood price correction (DROP!) took the cream of our harvesting enquiries! but enquiry there still was.

Manuka forestry was a frequent talking point – does manuka mix with eucalypts, or even pines on high altitude sites?

Natives and re-vegetation of waterways featured. Discussion was across all timber species and included drought feeding - poplars.

We had Scion with a decision making harvesting software on demonstration – they found it easier to engage knowledgeable folk but not your straight off the paddock farmer with a small block of trees. 

I had to grin about the wisdom of modern trendy name changes – “Scion” means nothing to people until someone says “we do forestry research”. The old name “Forest Research Institute” needed no further explanation!!

Should we continue to be at National Agricultural Fieldays? If we got further advice of what the Executive wants us to promote re. Forest Levy matters that would help us in the future. Otherwise we just use our own heads…! We did “look good” in high viz Waikato Farm Forestry Vests and with NZ Farm Forestry caps.

For the record we signed up six new members and renewed one, sold one Wardle book and about $200 of other forestry literature.

Our thanks to the Neil Barr Foundation for providing the funding for the sublet fee, Gerry Mortimer of Woodmetrics Ltd and our willing volunteers that we let loose on the stand.

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