Docstoc

The Maraetotara Tree Trust Newsletter_ June 2008 Chairmans Chat

Document Sample
The Maraetotara Tree Trust Newsletter_ June 2008 Chairmans Chat Powered By Docstoc
					The Maraetotara Tree Trust Newsletter, June 2008


Chairman’s Chat:

There have been moments when the enormity and logistics of our project seem almost
overwhelming--- 70k’s of riparian pastureland strip to be cleared, fenced, planted and
maintained, and all of this only after the landowners have been convinced of the value of such
a project. I then look back to 2003 and can only marvel at the progress made in 5 years, all
done “on the smell of an oily rag” and only achievable due to the thousands of hours put in by
willing volunteers. The erection of our magnificent nursery in Farmlet Road, the seed collecting
and propagation of many thousands of eco-sourced trees and of course the planting out of
many of these trees all of this by volunteers. One especially enjoyable aspect of our scheme is
the involvement with the pupils and teachers of several local schools who raise trees from
seeds provided by our nurseryman Bruce. Both Hastings and Havelock North Intermediate’s
have been working with us since the inception and Taikura Rudolf Steiner is again involved
after a break. None of this could have been achieved without the backing of Hawke’s Bay
Regional Council which assists with clearing and fencing of covenanted land and the Trust is
especially grateful to Warwick Hesketh HBRC Management Officer for his willing and sensible
input. The Trust’s vision is of a green wildlife corridor running beside a sparkling clean trout
filled river which connects Mohi bush at the head of the valley to the sea at Te Awanga and
only a stone’s throw to the bush at Cape

Kidnapper’s Preserve. This ambition IS achievable but only with the continuing
assistance both physical and financial of our much appreciated supporters
The Totora Tree:



The Totara grows extensively in the Maraetotara valley, and it is the intention of the
trust to plant it in appropriate numbers when the first stage planting has been
completed. We already have in the nursery young Totara which will be planted out when
the environment with earlier plantings established is right. Totara along with other plant
families can be traced back to Gondwanaland and their ancestry goes back to the
cretaceous period of geological history. Recently the theories which suggest New
Zealand was completely submerged for a period after separation from Gondwanaland
create some difficulties, but at least we can say the Totara is amongst the most ancient
of our trees. For Maori it was a Rangatira tree, a chief and ,quite apart from the many
uses to which its timber was put , was a simile for status and a mark of it. In his recent
book “The great sacred forest of Tane” Alan Clarke says it was treated with awe and
reverence even when it was being used for purposes of ordinary life. It was planted to
denote important occasions. There are many proverbs and sayings which refer to the
Totara and perhaps the best known is that heard at funerals “Kua Hinga te Totara o Te
Wa- Nui-o-Tane” The Totara of the Great Forest of Tane had fallen. Totara for the
pakeha was also important, mainly for utilitarian purposes, such as building, but also
where a timber which does not rot was needed. It is now rarely available, particularly for
carving where it is unequalled. It is a beautiful feature of the landscape throughout New
Zealand, whether in standing bush or as isolated specimen trees in farmland.Guthrie
Smith refers to ancient Totara trees in his great book “Tutira” and he suggests some
may be as old as two thousand years. It is easily germinated and grown and is
reasonably quick in its growth, growing as quickly as Douglas Fir. It is a pity that it has
not been planted as a longer term crop in forestry development and should be so
planted. We hope that by ensuring it remains a significant tree in the Maraetotara valley
it may be more available for general planting.
Fundraising:

The Maraetotara River Restoration project began with the forming of the Maraetotara
Tree Trust in 2003. Since then both the project and Trust have had all the ups and
downs associated with taking on such an ambitions project. Five years on, the project is
still growing. Last season over 7000 native seedlings were planted as part of the project
compared to around 6000 the year before and just over 4000 in 2005. We finally have
an area where our progress can be seen by the public. A new sign near the Waimarama
bridge further helps to promote our efforts. Last years planting season was our most
successful yet. Well planted, quality seedlings and favourable growing conditions
allowed for a much higher rate of survival than we have seen in the past. Some areas
continue to challenge. Despite our best efforts, frosts, droughts, weeds and even hares
have taken their toll, especially on the Mokopeka section. We continue to learn however
and together with experts in riparian restoration will intend to revisit how we can best
attack this section. With the majority of the river’s margin under private ownership,
engaging the support of landowners is perhaps the most important aspect of the project.
9 land owners have so far registered covenants allowing of approximately 11 and a half
km of plantable margin strip. Much of this is already fenced and either planted or
awaiting planting. This does not include lengths of river which are already managed by
the district council and Department of conservation. Even before planting, the benefits
to water quality from fencing are huge. Non-grazed vegetation helps to intercept nutrient
run-off and stock can no-longer directly pollute and the stream and damage its banks.
The establishment of a native riparian corridor to improve terrestrial and freshwater
habitat will be the icing on the cake.
The Maraetotara, Where we are at...


The Maraetotara River Restoration project began with the forming of the Maraetotara
Tree Trust in 2003. Since then both the project and Trust have had all the ups and
downs associated with taking on such an ambitious project. Five years on, the project is
still growing. Last season over 7000 native seedlings were planted as part of the project
compared to around 6000 the year before and just over 4000 in 2005. We finally have
an area where our progress can be seen by the public. A new sign near the Waimarama
Bridge further helps to promote our efforts. Last year’s planting season was our most
successful yet. Well planted, quality seedlings and favourable growing conditions
allowed for a much higher rate of survival than we have seen in the past. Some areas
continue to challenge. Despite our best efforts, frosts, droughts, weeds and even hares
have taken their toll, especially on the Mokopeka section. We continue to learn however
and together with experts in riparian restoration will intend to revisit how we can best
attack this section. With the majority of the river’s margin under private ownership,
engaging the support of landowners is perhaps the most important aspect of the project.
9 land owners have so far registered covenants allowing of approximately 11 and a half
km of plantable margin strip. Much of this is already fenced and either planted or
awaiting planting. This does not include lengths of river which are already managed by
the district council and Department of conservation. Even before planting, the benefits
to water quality from fencing are huge. Non-grazed vegetation helps to intercept nutrient
run-off and stock can no-longer directly pollute and the stream and damage its banks.
The establishment of a native riparian corridor to improve terrestrial and freshwater
habitat will be the icing on the cake.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:19
posted:5/28/2010
language:English
pages:4