native plant nurseries

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.

What You Should Look For In Your Native Plant Supplier

Revegetation and restoration projects are delicate processes. They involve the use of native plants and bushes to restore a piece of land to its natural state. It’s not enough for your plant supplier to have a basic knowledge of botany. Your supplier must who know all the different native plant species of New Zealand and have a deep understanding of how these grow, spread and adapt to different environments.

If a plant supplier doesn’t know these things, then he or she really doesn’t know how to take care of a nursery. Chances are he’ll end up wasting time money and resources as the revegetation project progresses.

The Importance of Seed Eco-Sourcing

It takes careful planning to set-up and install native plant nurseries. Eco-sourcing native seeds, for instance, is important because it’s a sustainable way to maintain your nursery. It helps preserve native species, and ensure resilient plant stock for revegetation and ecological restoration projects.

A native plant nursery that uses and encourages the use of eco-sourced seeds is also cost effective. Eco-sourced plants adapt easily to different soil conditions, which helps cut down maintenance costs of restored areas. It also reduce costs if ever you want to revegetate more land in the same area.

The Importance of having an extensive catalogue of native plants

As a supplier, you should have an extensive catalogue of wholesale native plants for revegetation. Just because it’s a native plant doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right type of plant to thrive in that kind of environment or location.

Given the wide ecological and geographical variations of the islands, it’s best to work with a nursery that’s sure to have the right kind of flora for any environment. In doing so, you will have a wide variety of native plants to choose from. You’ll be able to select what’s best suited for the location; plants that would surely thrive and greatly benefit the land and environment around it.

The importance of having an in-house nursery manager

Native plant nurseries need constant monitoring, so an in-house nursery manager will needed for huge revegetation projects. An in-house nursery manager not only takes care of the nursery. Their extensive knowledge and experience with native plants and revegetation would be invaluable in planning and implementation.

An in-house nursery manager would be invaluable to these projects because of their knowledge on what kind of native plants would work. Unlike conventional plant species, native plants have specific needs and characteristics to adapt to their environment. For example, most eco-sourced plants are disease-resistant but it also depends on the type of plant, soil conditions, weather, altitude, etc, on how effective these plants would be. The expertise of a nursery manager would help you save time and money by choosing the right kind of native plants for your restoration even before you start planting.

The Importance of Ecologist Participation During Revegetation

We at Rural Designs take pride in the fact that we have ecologists actively involved in all our revegetation projects. Even though revegetation is an activity that some property owners do themselves, having an ecologist as part of the planning and implementation has greatly contributed to the success our projects.

Having an ecologist that’s actively involved in our native plant nursery operations helps ensure that the plans are feasible and cost-effective, and the planting is done efficiently with minimal impact and effort.

Our ecological risk and impact assessment planning covers the physical, biological, social and even stakeholder participation for the revegetation of your property. Every action has an environmental impact, even planting. The assessments conducted by our ecologists, with considerations to its immediate impact in the community, will help determine the kind of native plants for your property, minimize environmental impact revegetation and maximize the effects of the ecological restoration process.  

The Importance of Planting Experience

A native plant nursery should also have its own planting services. For revegetation projects to be successful, real life experience is essential. A well rounded native plant nursery that has extensive knowledge of its catalogue, plus experience in planning, design, and implementation would help ensure the success and effectiveness of any restoration project.

Our extensive experience with project management and implementation gives you more flexibility in planning for those native plants as part of your revegetation. Our catalogue also has a wide array of native plant collection for you to choose from, to adapt to every kind of environment and soil conditions. We at Rural Designs are more than just a nursery, or a design firm, assessment firm, or planting service. We have the well-rounded expertise and resources to would ensure a successful, cost effective, and sustainable revegetation and restoration project.