Beech Seeding Project

The Wakatipu Beech Seeding Project is a 3 year, joint research project between the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group and the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, with technical support from Scion Research Institute.

This is a community based research project, to test the viability and efficiency of sowing native seed (in particular Beech) into stands of sprayed wilding conifers. At present some areas of sprayed conifers have limited native seed sources nearby, it is mostly weed species that are subsequently colonising these areas. We will be testing the best way to sow seed directly into these areas and if successful, this could change the way we do landscape scale reforestation in areas of sprayed conifers.

The project started in Autumn 2017 and the first year of the project is very much a learning and trial year and a number of small test plots will be set up. Depending what we learn from Year 1, we will upscale the project in subsequent years to include a much broader general public volunteer base, and look into technological advancements (e.g. drones to sow seed) to see how things can be done on a larger scale.

Each year the project can broken into 4 different bursts of activity

1) Seed collection – Autumn

2) Seed sowing – Spring

3) Seedling success monitoring – following Summer

4) Review and planning for subsequent years

The project has WCG and the WRT representatives on it’s project governance group including, Peter Willsman, Neill Simpson, Ben Teele and Peter Blanshard. The project is also supported by a Project Manager and technical support from Scion Research Institute.  However this is a community based volunteer led project.

For the first year, the WRT are looking for keen volunteers who are happy to come along the learning and testing journey. If you are interested in being involved please contact Nita Smith from the Wakatipu Restoration Trust on volunteer@wrtqt.org.nz.