Revegetation services

Using Manuka for Forest Revegetation

Manuka, or simply called “tea tree”, is a scrub-type flowering plant that grows into a moderately sized tree, with dense branches and a short spine tip. It is sometimes confused with kanuka, but manuka leaves are quite prickly  and its wood is tough and hard.

You can get the genus of manuka in various native plant nurseries or with other outlets that sell native plants or other organic commodities. 

Manukas are usually used for revegetation projects for a variety of reasons: 

● It has wide ecological tolerance
● It grows faster
● It has the ability to colonise sites, particularly those with low fertility and low temperature
● Increases production of seed, especially light wind-borne seed.
● Seeds germinate over a wide temperature range

When doing revegetation on your property, there are four ways you can utilize manuka as a crop:

- Direct Seeding
- Establishing nurse crops
- Laying Manuka Brush
- Planting of quick growing species and its mixture

Direct Seeding

This is an inexpensive way in using manuka for your revegetation project. 
Direct seeding requires

- Large quantities of viable seed
- Doing the work in the right season
- Maintaining its optimum conditions
- Controlling of invading and unwanted species 

Direct seeding also broadcasts and places manuka seeds directly in a site where plants germinate and grow. 

It is a good approach as it tends to eliminate competing plants, grasses included. It also helps in the maintenance of microclimate necessary for native seed germination and growth. 

Establish a nurse crop

If there’s no existing vegetation on your property, establishing a nurse crop can help provide shelter on exposed sites for other native plants to grow, with manuka commonly used as nurse crop. 

Nurse crops are meant to be temporary solutions. Once other native species start to grow, the nurse crop can be thinned out by natural (wind and bird dispersion) or by artificial means like pruning.

Laying a manuka bush

This procedure is involves mass planting high densities of manuka to create bush areas quickly with minimal effort. It is usually done by laying branches of manuka (laden with ripe seed) while bearing seed capsules on a cultivated ground. The manuka brush laid over the ground should be in criss-cross fashion, and not laid too densely as this will shade out the manuka. 

Laying a manuka bush will improve the chances of your seedlings and encourage other plant and animal species to repopulate the area. 

Planting a mix of manuka and other quick growing species

Mixing your manuka with other quick growing species is one way to quickly revegetate a piece of property with more species diversity. In this case, quick growing species like Coprosma/Pittosporum are planted with manuka so either plants can provide shelter to each other or to other species. 

Planting Manuka is a great plant to get you started on your property’s forest revegetation. For best results, go to a reliable native plant nursery to get the best crops.

But to increase your chances of having a successful revegetation project, it’s best to consult with professionals.

At Rural Design, we will provide you with competitive pricing on exotic and native plants to work seamlessly with desired landscape. We also eco-source native plant species for propagation within our native plant nursery and we come with a complete package of services to help you with your replanting projects from start to finish. 

So when you come to use for manuka plants, don’t look any further. We offer the best services so your manuka plants and forest revegetation will be in full bloom.

What You Need To Know About Carbon Emissions Trading Schemes

It was through the Climate Change Response Act of 2002 that the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) was born. It is a scheme that provides incentives for any ecological restoration activity that results in reducing carbon emissions; emissions created mostly by big industries and corporations. Although ETS is designed to primarily carbon emissions, the scheme has been expanded to cover all courtesy of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. 

The issue of climate change has become a major global issue, and the reduction of carbon emissions has become the battle cry all over the country. Climate change is a serious threat that has debilitating long term effects if not address promptly and correctly by everyone affected by it. 

As a landowner, you can no longer ignore the impact of climate change to your property. Shifting climate patterns and higher temperatures can affect the growth of such plants and the health of stock. Stronger greenhouse gases warm bodies of water and melt glaciers, affecting weather patterns which in turn affects your property and everything in it.

Fighting Back Climate Change With ETS

There is a way for you, as a landowner, to fight back against climate change. By applying for ETS and implementing the necessary restoration, you can make your property more resilient to the impact of climate change, protect your land for future use and development, and continue to earn from your property while protecting the environment.

Before any ETS takes place, a series of assessments is done in order to measure the carbon emissions of each industry, and to determine the measures that need to take place in order to reduce these emissions. The assessments include environmental assessment in the property, resources assessment and environmental monitoring.

The agricultural sector, which includes farmers and property owners, are required to assess their carbon emissions produced by their property and submit it as part of their obligation to ETS. This will determine the allocation or assistance provided for each farm under the ETS rule. The allocation will vary depending on the output of such farm. 

The emissions are then converted to New Zealand Units (NZU) credit. The credit can then be cancelled out by implementing measures that reduce carbon emissions or by purchasing NZUs from properties that actively reduce carbon emissions from the atmosphere. 

This is where landowners with forested areas can earn from ETS. If your property has a negative carbon footprint, you can sell its equivalent NZUs to industries who need it. 

Another way to earn NZUs is through carbon farming. Carbon farming is the process of getting rid with carbon dioxide and storing it in a form of new forests. This covers forests or restored areas that were established after 1989. With this scheme, landowners and farmers too can either sell their units or offset their carbon emissions.

To become a voluntary participant, landowners can register their property by registering their property with the Ministry of Primary Industries, the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative or the East Coast Forestry Project to start earning and selling NZUs. Each application comes with a series of requirements that involve mapping the property, doing assessments and computing emissions. The application procedures are pretty straightforward but to get the most out of ETS, it’s best to consult a professional.

Not only would a professional help you with the ETS application process. We at Rural Design can go beyond that. We offer environmental assessment services to help target areas that produce the most carbon emissions and ecological restoration services to help offset that. We have rural landscape design, permaculture and replanting services to help expand your forested areas while allowing for maximum productivity. 

And with your ETS application, we can facilitate with the preliminary assessment, mapping and filing. We can assist you with the carbon unit sequestration, unit sale and offset. Every possible angle for your ETS is covered, from environmental risk assessment to its impact. We have it for you. Our list of completed projects with ETS will attest to that. 

Carbon emission reduction is for everyone and participating in the ETS can provide long term returns for you and your property. By making the most of the carbon emissions trading scheme, you can help the environment and continue to make your property productive for years to come.

Can You Do Revegetation Without Any Planning?

Revegetation refers to the process of replanting and rebuilding a damaged land’s soil, for restoring its former ecosystem. According to the Native Plant Centre in New Zealand, a company specializing in growing New Zealand native plants, revegetation is “to recreate a natural bush environment, where no bush existed before.”

Landowners use revegetation projects for many reasons:

● Resource conservation - refers to the management of natural resources to provide maximum benefit while maintaining the capacity of one’s land for future use.
● Erosion and weed control - the practice of preventing water erosion in agriculture, coastal areas and riverbanks, and the control of weed proliferation within the developed wetlands.
● Preservation of bush remnants - refers to the ecological restoration of remnant vegetation areas with the intention of minimizing weeds and erosion concerns.
● Preventing fertilizer run offs - the process of eliminating fertilizer saturation for the preservation of water while increasing the land’s nutrients.
● Encouraging native birds to settle in the area – an indicator of increasing biodiversity, the birds also help in fertilization and pest control.

Not All Revegetation Projects Have the Same Results

While there are many benefits from this undertaking, not all revegetation projects can turn out as ideal, or at least, executed as planned. Other revegetation projects have not lived up to its intended purpose, and that is, the rehabilitation of one’s land through the planting of native plant species. This was seen in a study conducted by Abigail R. Forbes, and John L. Craig, “Assessing the role of revegetation in achieving restoration goals on Tiritiri Matangi Island” (see attached link). 

The Tiritiri Matangi Island is a part of New Zealand’s extensive project of community-based restoration, focusing on habitat restoration, pest management and threatened species conservation as well as native revegetation.  The study’s goal was to determine whether the project at Tiritiri met  “the restoration goals by providing habitat for indigenous diversity, particularly birds.”  
They argued that although revegetation projects have captured the interest of the international conservation movement, these “initiatives (revegetation) are often conducted in an ad-hoc manner, without clear objectives or monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the chosen approach.”  That despite the efforts made, the project did not meet its desired goals due to lack of planning.

Revegetation Requires Planning and Follow-Through

To undertake a revegetation project without planning is unthinkable. Planting randomly and undermining the inherent structure of the land before a revegetation is not only unwise, it is also a waste of resources. Preserving the remaining native bushes can also be problematic without proper planning.

If you are going to start with your project, you need to consider a number of factors like the local climate, the soil conditions and altitude. In some cases, autumn is the best time for revegetation because it allows your plants to establish more roots; more roots provide a better chance of survival for the plants. In other areas with different environmental condition, different revegetation practices might be needed.

As in the case of spacing when it comes to planting, certain specifications should be followed to maximize the growth and potential of native plants. These specifications usually include:

● 1 metre for groundcovers
● 1-2 metres for small trees, ex. cabbage tree
● 3-10 metres for large trees, ex. pohutukawa
● 1 metre for shrubs, ex.  manuka, flax

Another specification to consider is the use of native and eco-sourced plants. Using plants endemic to your property that have been sourced locally helps ensure survival of the plants and adds to the ecological distinctiveness of your property.

With the help of a revegetation expert, all these specifications are taken into consideration when planning. An expert also takes into consideration possible setbacks like extreme weather, lowering of landscape heterogeneity, loss of biodiversity, and human intervention to minimize their impact.

You can conduct your own revegetation at your own expense and at your own risk, but with a professional, you save time, money, resources, and you’re assured of a certain degree of success. 

We at Rural Design have been doing revegetation services for so many years. We specialize in ecological restoration using eco-sourced plants, wetland and riprarian restoration. Our years of combined expertise, practical knowledge, and holistic approach to restoration has made us to go to firm by local government, farms, and major landowners for their restoration projects. 

We don’t just implement restoration and revegetation, we plan, support and maintain. We take steps to ensure that the projects we undertake are successful to help landowners like you reap the benefits of your revegetation projects.