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More than 4 million radiata pine seedlings have been planted in state forests around Grafton that were devastated by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Image: NSW Forestry Corporation

Forestry plant 4 million seedlings near Grafton

A ground-breaking replanting program to replace pine trees devastated by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires has seen the NSW Forestry Corporation plant more than four million seedlings in forests near Grafton and more than 40 million seedlings planted across the state.

Pine forests in the state were among the hardest hit areas by the bushfires, as more than five million hectares of land was burnt across New South Wales.

This included 25 per cent of the state-owned pine plantations, which are intended to provide timber for housing construction in the future.

To assist in regrowth, the NSW Forestry Corporation have undertaken accelerated planting programs in state forests near Grafton, Walcha, Bathurst, Bombala, and Tumut over the past three years.

NSW Forestry Corporation Silviculture Manager Roger Davies said more than 4 million radiata pine seedlings were planted across 4000 hectares of pine forests near Grafton that were impacted by bushfires.

“The 230,000 hectares of pine plantations in New South Wales are carefully managed while they grow to maturity and harvesting just a small portion each year produces enough timber to construct about a quarter of the homes built in Australia each year,” he said.

“The pine seedlings planted this winter will in two to three decades time become the housing timber supply for future generations here in New South Wales.”

Planting is mostly done by hand, with a skilled tree planter able to plant about 2000 seedlings a day.

The 40 million radiata pine seedlings were grown from seed and raised at Forestry Corporation nurseries at Grafton and Tumut before they were distributed around the state for planting.