Wildings getting a lot of coverage of late,particularly the McKenzie Basin etc but I wonder how many are aware of the problem on Molesworth.We recently finished a tramp on the Rainbow Road,between St Arnaud & Hanmer.After staying at Island Gully Hut we decided to travel(by vehicle) from Sedgemere through to ( near)Red Gate Hut,on the Molesworth Road & pop out at Hanmer. The scale of the problem becomes apparent near Tarndale & these wildings haven`t just happened overnight.Hundreds of acres of mature trees & young trees as far as you could see;it`s vast!The Government & DOC are aware of the problem but I wonder how much is being done about it.Because of the location,I`m hoping the problem is not being ignored.
That windbreak at Tarndale (or photos of it) is used as _the_ example of wilding wind-dispersed seeding. Absolute classic - single line of mature trees and a downwind lobe of wildings 10's of kms long. There was recent active control around Waimea Stream and Bowscake Tarn when I passed through last year, but nothing on the southern side of the fenceline.
This is just classic. I recall doing weekend club trips to Ruapehu to deal to pinus contorta 40 years ago. This problem has been known about for at least that long, but successive govts have done nothing. Now it's too big to ignore any more they start thinking about it.
forestry service had a test plantation on the branch river, abandoned it late seventies or early eighties. and nothing done about it since, happily seeding themselves to the wider area. not sure if they still do it, but DOC held an annual weekend session of pulling wilding pines at Tongariro National parks, they paid for travel wellington tramping clubs to come and pull the pines, i was on one in the mid eighties. pines will grow way above the bushline from where native trees will, southern ruapehu is a commercial pine forest, so its a never ending task, a sapling with a single pine needle on it can continue to grow , so you have to make sure you cut them down thoroughly.. I expect DOC won't have the resources to deal with the problem in anything more than a localised way closer to where people live, the potential for wilding pines to overtake native vegetation is absolutely massive. I see around queen charlotte sound that individual mature pine trees look like they have been poisoned.
Doc still do the contorta on Ruapeahu but for the last couple of years according to the ranger only HVTC and Wanganui tramping clubs have participated.
I pulled out contorra pines on ruapheu with DOC, it was summer, we were on bare lava rock...., it was insufferablly hot in the sun, I probably got dehydrated. there were hardly any tools, so you had to pull most of the trees out by hand, being an office worker, i had no upper body strength, it all added up by the end of the day..
We did it in early March. 12 from HVTC and I think 7 from Wanganui club. Saturday was spent in a scrubby area. Covered a big area and had no skin left on arms and legs afterwards Sunday was spent going the other way on great big sand dunes. I think we got 490 trees for the weekend. Doc supplied all the hand saws and loppers and a venison bbq Saturday night. The problem they are striking now is that if a tree is cut too high it will keep growing close to the ground and may still seed at only 6 inches high. It only takes one seed to keep the problem going
A lot of pine control gets done by DOC themselves - but that's mostly DOC land. The above location is private so much less likely to be done by DOC. Here in Central we have to COWCMG - Central Otago Wilding Conifer Management Group, controlling wildings on 10's of 1000s of HA of private land. Sadly the maps of the areas they've covered this year don't seem to be online and public - but they are impressive. They have funding from MPI - not sure if they get funding from elsewhere too. Looks like MPI fund quite a bit: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/long-term-pest-management/wilding-conifers/
Madpom-As I understand it,if you`re paying tax,then you own a chunk of Molesworth Station(in my case,I have dibs on a single Molesworth wilding! ).DOC have input into their end of land ownership while the farming side is managed by a separate entity
Molesworth ends at Wards Pass. Then there's Acheron Stn (private) then whatever station Tarndale is part of. So they're not on Molesworth Station unless we're talking about another set of trees. All I saw growing on Molesworth were willows, rosebriar, vipers bugloss and hieracium. Weeds the lot of em ... but not pines.
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