Living Legends Operations Manager, Gordon Hosking, has been busy travelling around our sites to check on the health of the trees we planted last year. There is no doubt the 2011 season has been an outstanding success. The majority of sites show over 95% survival of plants and very good growth, largely due to the silver lining of our dismal summer, the trees loved it!
Good quality plants from our nurseries and careful planting by our volunteers have ensured we made the best of the wet summer. The only site to show significant losses was Orokonui (Dunedin) where very hot weather immediately after the planting day caused some losses, but even here 80% of what we planted is happily growing.
Competition from weeds and grass can severely limit tree survival and growth in the first year after planting and on sites where acacia and blackberry is present some spraying has been necessary. Most sites have long grass and to the untrained eye they can look a bit neglected, however, as long as the plants are upright and clear above, the weeds and grass provide some shelter and on a number of sites discourage rabbits which can be very damaging. In a year’s time the plants will be above the competition and visitors will be able to clearly see the success of planting.
All in all, we’re rapt with the progress so far!