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Stanton Park

Thursday, November 28, 2019, Howard Moore's blog

Since 1979 the Wellington Branch of the Association has had access to a 5 ha area of forest land called Stanton Park.  In the 1970s the Wellington City Water Board (later the Wellington Regional Council) employed Geoff Stanton as a forester.  When they acquired Valley View Station in the hills west of Upper Hutt, Geoff persuaded them that it was an ideal spot for a small Forestry demonstration block showing tree selection and different silvicultural practices.

An initially informal agreement between the Board and the Wellington Branch became a 20 year forestry license in 1997.  The Branch planted the land to the east of the access road in Radiata pine with two different thinning regimes.  To the west of the road in an area with a higher water table, we trialed varieties of Cypress and later, varieties of Eucalyptus.  These are now showing interesting results.

The Radiata grew well and was harvested with the Council forests in 2012.  The proceeds were divided 50% between the Council and the Branch, and the area replanted with Coastal Redwoods.  Our plan is to observe which type has the best growth and form and at what age they will be a harvestable size.  Perhaps in about 40 years the trees will be an impressive and potentially rich resource, if they can be felled and marketed. 

There are smaller areas of Lusitanica and different types of Macrocarpa cypresses.  These are now more resilient to cypress canker, enjoy the colder climate, and are showing much promise. 

We have renewed the forestry license with the Regional Council and continue to manage the block, with periodic working bees to release the young trees from buddleia, blackberry, gorse and manuka.  However things change, and on renewing the license the Council designated the wetter, western part of the block as an official wetland.  This means we have to carefully remove the exotics and transition to full indigenous cover with appropriate species for the area.  Happily our Kahikatea are doing well, and while this work will be hard, it should be spiritually rewarding. 

Redwoods being pruned

2 posts.

Post from Venise Comfort on December 17, 2019 at 1:18PM

What an awesome achievement!

Post from Howard Moore on July 21, 2021 at 11:59AM

Mark Stanton has corrected me and advised that his father started with the Wellington Water Board in the 1950s, not the 1970s as recorded above. Otherwise all good.

Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.

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