Foresters clear pine ‘wildings’
FORESTRY workers have removed “wildings” – pine trees which have seeded from state plantations into surrounding bushland – growing near the Lidsdale, Newnes and Sunny Corner State Forests.
“Routine operations to remove wildings . . . are critical to ensure our operations continue to be managed sustainably,” says Forests New South Wales stewardship forester at Bathurst, Jack Cotterill.
“Forests NSW continue to be a leading producer of sustainable timber in Australia because we routinely carry out environmental protection work, which is something we value very highly.”
Work was recently carried out to remove a mix of large and small pine wildings in 200ha of native bush surrounding Lidsdale State Forest on the Great Western Highway, 10km west of Lithgow.
“Trees were removed through herbicide stem treatments from the ground while smaller ones were removed by hand,” says Mr Cotterill.
“This operation comes on the back of an extensive noxious weed control program carried out during the spring and summer months, which saw more than 20,000 hectares of plantation treated for noxious weeds, including black berries, serrated tussock and gorse.
“These treated wildings may take up to 12 months to die. When they die, they lose colour and foliage, which is quite normal.”
Mr Cotterill says Forests NSW plans to revisit the site next year to carry out further control measures.
Forests NSW has also carried out pine wilding control programs this year at Sunny Corner State Forest (on the boundary with Winburndale Nature Reserve) and Newnes State Forest, with the total treatment area for these operations approaching 500ha.
“The work in Newnes State Forest took place on the fringe of our plantation and targeted wildings encroaching on Bungleboori Swamp,” says Mr Cotterill.
“Forests NSW continues to develop environmental improvement programs as part of day-to-day operational activities and targeted projects.
“Forests NSW Macquarie Region manages 73,000 hectares of pine plantation locally, supplying more than one million tonnes of timber and adding approximately $800 million to the local economy through timber processing activities.”