One Billion Trees supporting native seedlings research

  • Hon Shane Jones

Funding for research to improve New Zealand’s native seedling production will boost survivability and create more efficient ways to produce high-quality seedlings, Forestry Minister Shane Jones said.

The One Billion Trees Programme is providing a funding boost of $422,500 for research – led by Scion in partnership with other Bay of Plenty organisations – to identify more effective native seedling propagation techniques and technology.

“The One Billion Trees Fund we launched last year isn’t just about seeing trees in the ground,” Shane Jones said. 

“We have a significant amount of money available for partnerships like this that focus on reducing the barriers to tree planting through research, innovation or sector development. This project ticks all of those boxes.

“The aim is to understand what is and isn’t working and address those key issues including seedling survivability and how to create more efficient ways to produce good quality native seedlings.

“There’s also the potential to see a more environmentally friendly approach to seedling production through the use of paper wrap instead of the usual plastic wrap – reducing waste in the industry.

“What’s important about this partnership is that it goes beyond just theory. Scion’s aim is to ensure their research into improving native seedling propagation is scalable and available to the industry at large,” Shane Jones said.

Scion Chief Executive Dr Julian Elder said research of this kind underpins the Government’s investment in native forestry.

“This funding boost will accelerate the planting of native trees through improved and cost-effective propagation technologies. Our unique nursery research facilities combined with our other research capabilities in bioproducts allows us to pursue a more sustainable approach for New Zealand.”

Notes to editors:

The project is led by Scion, working in partnership with Treeline Native Nursery, Minginui Nursery Ngati Whare Holdings, Te Tipu Wai Trust, Ellepot Denmark, Rotorua Lakes District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The research proposal has identified four key issues and opportunities to be developed further, these are:

  1. Slow production cycle for native trees
  2. Logistics and costs of seed collections
  3. Tree establishment and plant quality
  4. Nursery productivity

The two key goals of this project are:

  • To improve propagation techniques and technologies, demonstrate methods that are scalable within the nursery sector.
  • Share research findings available to the industry at large, including native plant and forestry nurseries, through published reports, talks and workshops delivered at Scion and through New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI).