Planting season is a few months away, but we know there’s still tons to be done to get ready for your next planting project. We also know maintenance is a must, so we got chatting to our Regional Advisors to get some thoughts on how to keep your young native trees and recent plantings in tip-top shape over the late summer and autumn months.
With a bit of warmth and a fair share of rain in some regions this summer, you’ll be seeing phenomenal weed growth. Engelbert Humperdinck said it best when he sang "please release me, let me go” — or in this case, grow! Releasing is the chore nobody loves, but it’s essential for tree survival.
Damage from animals can put your trees at serious risk; you might end up with happy sheep, but you surely won’t have happy seedlings. If you have grazing animals excluded by fencing, or rabbit-proof fencing protecting your plantings, it’s a good time to look for gaps and make any repairs that are necessary.
Keep an eye on plastic guards
This summer, some areas in NZ have been hot and dry enough that plastic guards may be mini hothouses which could be cooking your plants. However, guards can still be useful in reducing wind on exposed sites, deterring rabbits and hares, and with accompanying weed matting, may help limit aggressive weed growth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on plants with plastic guards. Your guards may also need removing if you want to re-use them this winter, or where your plants are outgrowing them.
Prep for planting season
Review your plan and site preparation for any projects you’ve got lined up. When it comes to next summer, you’ll be glad you got these steps right as it will ease your weeding burden come spring. It’s also a good opportunity to assess the effectiveness of your previous plantings to see which species are growing best, and if weed mats, plant guards, and staking are helping in the success of your natives. If they aren’t working, then perhaps it’s time to consider other species and methods for next season.
Check in with your local nursery
It’s a good time to check in with your local nursery and see that everything’s on track for your eco-sourced native trees for the coming season. If you fancy a five finger, crave a kānuka, or are lusting after a lacebark, now’s the time to see if what you want is available, or seek advice on alternatives.
For any problems that you’re not sure how to tackle, our Regional Advisors are always on hand to give specialist advice. Give them a call or flick them an email at the links below.
Northland: Paul Quinlan
Bay of Plenty: Wayne O’Keefe
East Coast: Stephanie Gardener
Hawke’s Bay: Troy Duncan
Taranaki: Sian Potier
Manawatu/Whanganui: Lisa Clapcott
West Coast: Martin Abel
Canterbury: Scott Butcher
Otago: Paul Pope