A volunteer removes wilding pines at Mid Dome. Photo
The head of a trust trying to eradicate wilding pines
from a vast expanse of Northern Southland believes the big job
can be done.
The Mid Dome Wilding Trees Charitable Trust has received a
$300,000 injection from the Government's Community
Environment Fund, and will match that from its own funds.
The money will be used to spray mature seed-source trees on
the western front faces of the Mid Dome conservation land
area during the next three years, to stop their seeds
sprouting on neighbouring leasehold farms.
The funding, along with advances in aerial spraying
techniques, meant the trust was hopeful it could halt the
spread of wilding pines, trust chairwoman Ali Timms said
"We're just coming into year six of our eradication efforts
and it's the most positive I've felt about achieving our
goal. Until we deal to those trees we won't be able to get on
top of the wilding spread issue."
Pinus contorta trees were planted in the 1940s and
1950s as an erosion control measure, Ms Timms, who is also
Environment Southland chairman, said.
Eventually about 250ha was planted, but clone trees had since
spread across about 80,000ha of hills and farmland.
When it was created in 2006, the trust estimated about $9
million would be needed to complete an intensive 12-year
So far about 40,000ha of leasehold land had been cleared of
trees through aerial spraying and the manual removal of
seedling trees, Ms Timms said. The land had been handed back
to leaseholders to maintain.
The trees were unsuitable to be grown and harvested.