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Bay of Plenty branch history

Ian Nicholas, New Zealand Tree Grower May 2011.

The Rotorua Farm Shelter and Forestry Association was formed in March 1960. Ed Graham was the founder of the association and its first president. It is interesting to note that the 1961 farm forestry journal reported that ‘the original move to form an association came from Waikite Branch of Federated Farmers and the Rotorua sub-province of Federated Farmers was responsible for the inaugural meeting’. Would that happen today?

In 1971 Rotorua, Bay of Plenty and Galatea branches agreed to amalgamate. This helped to provide support for the new larger branch to host the 1973 annual conference. Jim Barr was the first president and at that time the region covered the area from Coromandel to Taupo and Opotiki.

Since then Taupo and Coromandel formed separate branches, although the latter has been amalgamated into the Waikato area. In 1995 the Bay of Plenty hosted the national conference based at Tauranga.

Regular field trips are held in the area with weekend trips to far corners occurring every few years. With the wide climatic variation across the branch there are many excellent tree growing spots hidden away.

Some Bay of Plenty hidden gems include −

  • A 31-year-old black walnut plantation near Whakatane
  • A 21-year-old well managed blackwoods Acacia melanoxylon at Paengaroa
  • A large Eucalyptus muelleriana hiding in Rotoehu forest.
Black walnut plantation
The 1971 Branch President Jim Barr at 2006 fi eld day
Blackwood at Paengaroa
Large Eucalyptus muelleriana in Rotoehu forest

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