Story: Radiata pine

Page 3. Propagation and planting

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Propagation

New forests can be propagated from seedlings or cuttings.

In the case of seedlings, the seed is sown in nursery beds (usually in October) and seedlings readied for planting the following winter (May to August). The seedlings’ roots are undercut during the seven- to nine-month growing period, which causes them to produce many fibrous roots near the soil surface. This increases their chance of survival when planted out.

With cuttings, seed is first sown to produce stock plants, which are cultivated to yield a multitude of young shoots. The shoots are removed as cuttings and planted in nursery beds or containers. It takes several months for the cuttings to form roots. Improved varieties planted from cuttings can come from just a single, superior clone or, more usually, a mixture of clones from several different, unrelated crosses.

Seedlings and cuttings are ready for planting when 25–30 centimetres tall.

Site preparation

Before planting, sites are prepared to create the best conditions for tree survival and growth. Preparations include spraying to kill weeds, ripping or ploughing the soil, or forming soil mounds.

Trees are normally planted by hand, using a spade to dig the hole. The number of trees planted per hectare can vary from 600 to 1,400. If the soil is lacking nutrients, fertiliser is applied.

How to cite this page:

Peter Berg, 'Radiata pine - Propagation and planting', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/radiata-pine/page-3 (accessed 18 October 2017)

Story by Peter Berg, published 24 Nov 2008