Forests are not topdressed as often as farmland – perhaps only every 10 years or less often – so it is important that fertiliser is applied to all trees. Helicopters have commonly been used, as they apply fertiliser evenly. They can also access fertiliser heaps spaced through the forest rather than needing an airstrip, minimising the time needed to refill the fertiliser bucket. Since the development of GPS guidance technology, fixed-wing aircraft have been able to distribute fertiliser more evenly, and their use in topdressing forests has increased.
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Photograph by David Harding
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