Planting is seasonal work, making it very attractive to backpackers on working holiday visas. Today, the team are backfilling a recently planted field that had suffered losses through a period of extreme heat. Each worker marks off the mound they’re working with a length of ribbon, ensuring nothing is lost in translation.
450 trees per hectare
Prior to planting, the somewhat sandy soil is groomed into long mounds that make light work for a shovel and help guide the team to form equidistant rows. This system of mounds and trenches works to wick excess water away and help to prevent root rot or disease.
Just add water
Once saplings are planted, they need to fend for themselves. At the end of that rainbow there’s a welcome drink to be had for these young trees, but despite today’s weather this part of the world is prone to extremes of heat, flood, fire and drought.
Years of hard work could be undone in minutes if a fire were allowed to sweep through a forest. HQPlantations have a forest management schedule that keeps them, and our supply chain, on the front foot should disaster strike.
Captured for good
Scientists see plantation pine as playing an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change. Each tree takes between 28 and 35 years to reach full maturity, and spends this whole time growing by inhaling Carbon Dioxide and exhaling Oxygen. By the time a tree is harvested, 50% of its weight is Carbon, and science tells us that old trees should make way for new trees to resume that capturing process.
Once that Carbon is captured, it stays captured for good. In fact, even if timber were to end up in landfill (heaven’s forbid) that Carbon remains locked away, only able to be released if it is composted or burnt.
Down on the farm
Doing a cadetship with Hyne involves rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in all aspects of our business. Today, John Irwin is learning the in’s and out’s (but mainly the in’s) of planting, and getting to appreciate what goes into each and every tree that is grown, harvested and transformed into a sawn timber product.
70 million trees per year
Across Australia some 70 million trees are planted every year. Not only is that a great thing for the environment, it’s a great thing for our customers as we’re meeting the growing demand for construction materials that don’t cost the earth.