Promoting Sustainable Land Management for Hawke’s Bay
A future with trees
Glengarry Rd farmer Peter Scheele is grateful for the 14 years of planting projects by the former owners, James and Leith Morgan, who began planting a waterway protection programme almost as soon as they purchased Waipari in 1990.
When Peter Scheele bought the property two years ago, nearly 95 hectares of slip-prone slopes and 9km of unguarded streams or watercourses had been fenced and planted. The original 16ha of trees on Waipari had also been replanted.
The Morgans prepared many hectares in readiness for fencing and planting, depending initially on the advice and support of Waipari neighbour, farm forester (and now regional councillor) Alec Olsen.
Council’s land management advisor Simon Stokes prepared a farm plan and gave guidance on a tree planting programme (spaced poplars and erosion control forestry pines) adding further protection to slip-prone slopes. The Council’s Regional Landcare scheme helped fund a lot of the work.
“This farm hasn’t lost any productivity but probably gained from what has been done,” James says, with Peter’s agreement.
“We concentrated on land that was causing us problems, land that was slipping and threatening productive areas. So we went around the farm, nutted out the good and the bad, and planned our subdivision. Thirty paddocks became 42.”
There was strategic placement of willow and poplar poles for erosion purposes, but in the larger areas, pines were chosen. Native trees were planted where appropriate.
“The benefit is double barreled. Big slow growers such as cedars have preserved the farm’s lifeline, the driveway in the heart of the property, while still providing some timber potential. The rest of the pine trees have a wonderful conservation purpose now and, in most cases, the choice is there to mill and replace them later.”
Peter says only time will tell who will benefit from any harvest of the trees planted on Waipari, but this wet winter has proved that he is already benefiting from their conservation value.
Photo caption – James Morgan, left, and Peter Scheele beside a slip on Waipari across the fence from trees planted six years ago. Slopes on the farm have suffered some slipping this winter, but extensive planting has prevented more slips.