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$422k to support native seedlings research

Shane Jones.

Funding for research to improve New Zealand’s native seedling production will boost survivability and create more efficient ways to produce high-quality seedlings, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones.

The One Billion Trees Programme is providing a funding boost of $422,500 for research – led by Scion in partnership with other Bay of Plenty organisations – to identify more effective native seedling propagation techniques and technology.

“The One Billion Trees Fund we launched last year isn’t just about seeing trees in the ground,” says Shane.

“We have a significant amount of money available for partnerships like this that focus on reducing the barriers to tree planting through research, innovation or sector development. This project ticks all of those boxes.

“The aim is to understand what is and isn’t working and address those key issues including seedling survivability and how to create more efficient ways to produce good quality native seedlings.

“There’s also the potential to see a more environmentally friendly approach to seedling production through the use of paper wrap instead of the usual plastic wrap – reducing waste in the industry.

“What’s important about this partnership is that it goes beyond just theory. Scion’s aim is to ensure their research into improving native seedling propagation is scalable and available to the industry at large."

Scion Chief Executive Dr Julian Elder says research of this kind underpins the Government’s investment in native forestry.

“This funding boost will accelerate the planting of native trees through improved and cost-effective propagation technologies. Our unique nursery research facilities combined with our other research capabilities in bioproducts allows us to pursue a more sustainable approach for New Zealand.”

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