Our last big tree planting effort

Since 2008, every winter at Project Rameka, we’ve been calling in the troops to plant out large swathes of abandoned paddock in native trees. Fifteen years down the track, we find ourselves running out of large areas.

In the last audit by Jonathan and Matt, it was hard to find areas large enough for a big group to spend time planting – they did, but only just. So, barring drought, fire or slip, 2023 marked the final year of mass plantings at the Rameka Carbon Forest! This is good news; it’s fantastic! It means our trees have taken hold; they’ve taken up the challenge, and many no longer need our help.

In future, we’ll be focusing on ’boutique’ planting of some of the more delicate, slow-growing climax species, such as rimu and matai, under the shelter of the workhorse species that are doing so well.

Bronnie standing in front of 2m tall totara planted in 2008/09
Bronnie standing next to some totara that were planted in 2008/09

So, the last week of August 2023, marked one final Herculean planting effort, with over one thousand trees being put in the ground. Thanks to everyone who grabbed a spade and gave the native seedlings a new home.

Some of the sites were challenging, as the first photo taken from a drone by Phil Castle shows. The rest of the photos are by Corrine O’Connell, who joined us for the whole week and did a great job on her first ‘conservation vacation’.

Thanks to: Paul, Max, Forest, Max, Rumi, Enzo, Amaru, Sam, Erina, Brett, Helen, Chris, Phil, Corrine, Nicole, Richard, Mark, Marie, Tony, Karen, Bronnie, Jonathan, Christian, Simon, Geoff, Ann-Louise, and last but not least Matt, who prepared the planting sites.

Planting out the steep spur on the 'north face'
Drone photo by Phil Castle of the Great Expectations spur site – we planted 600 trees down this spur.
A naughty kea chomped into a bike seat as soon as our backs were turned. Photo by Corrine O’Connell.
Planters in the sun on a steep site
Hard at work on the Great Expectations spur.
Planters placing plant guards around newly planted trees.
Infill planting on the upper section of the historic track. The soil was nice and deep.
Planting on Rata Spur
Planting on Rata Spur, so named because we planted a dozen northern rata there a decade ago, and in the last few years they have shot away. Bloody rocky in places!
And now on the Poplar slip site. Fingers crossed we don’t have another slip here – third time lucky!
weka among the newly planted trees
A curious weka inspects our work, looking for an easy snack.

Thanks to Corrine O’Connell for taking so many great photos. It was so interesting to see Rameka through a different lens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *