Landowners focus on native tree planting

The One Billion Trees Fund is ramping up native tree planting across the country as landowners take up nearly $1.5 million in planting grants, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.  

Launched in November 2018, the Fund includes $118 million for tree planting grants, with a target of supporting two-thirds natives. In total, $2.2 million in grant funding has been approved.

“We’re focused on supporting landowners – particularly farmers – to get the best out of their land by integrating trees into the landscape. The purpose of the Fund is not to enable whole farm conversions.” Shane Jones said.

“This is clearly reflected in the criteria of the grants scheme and all grants so far approved have been for areas of land under 140 hectares. About two thirds have been for applications under 50 hectares.

“Over 80 percent of the planting projects approved to date will support landowners to establish native trees on their land.

“All of the funding will support tree planting that allows landowners to diversify income, improve land productivity, address environmental issues like erosion, water quality and climate change, increase habitats for a range of native species and enhance our natural landscapes.

“By planting the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose, we will see many farmers turning lower producing land into an asset. The Fund will also support our goal to move towards a low-emissions economy.

“In total, the Fund has received 237 applications for tree planting grants and approved 36 grants covering 1100 hectares,” Shane Jones said.