General News

Whiporie SF age class creation Image: Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Millions of forest seedlings planted near Grafton

Forestry Corporation has almost completed a ground-breaking replanting program that has seen more than 11-million seedlings planted in the state’s pine forests this winter.  

Almost three years on from the Black Summer bushfires and the recovery effort in softwood plantations continues.

Forestry Corporation’s accelerated planting programs over the past three years have seen extensive replanting in state forests near Tumut, Bombala, Bathurst, Walcha and Grafton.

In the Grafton Management Area since the 2019/20 bushfires, Silviculture Manager Ivan Gorman said more than four million pine seedlings have been replanted in fire-affected pine forests.

“Approximately 25 people have been involved in planting about a million seedlings across almost 900 hectares of land here at Grafton over a six-week period this winter,” Mr Gorman said. 

“We have replanted approximately 4000 hectares of the area that was impacted by the bushfires in 2020 and a total of four-million trees have been replanted in Grafton over the past four planting seasons. 

“We are getting excellent results from recent plantings. It has been a bumper couple of years in terms of tree survival and seedling growth in wetter than average conditions,” he said.

Tree replantings

Each seedling is planted by hand with experienced planters planting between 1,500 to 3,500 seedlings a day.

“From the pine trees that have been planted this season it will take around 15 years before we can extract fibre and 28 years growth to obtain structural timber,” Mr Gorman said. 

“That really is the challenging part about forestry and other tree crops, while infrastructure damaged by bushfire can be rebuilt, for tree growers it takes a long time to recover.

“With that said a world-class salvage operation happened in the softwood plantations following those fires and now it’s been a case of setting the forests up for future harvests.

“As this season shows we are tracking well ahead of schedule in replanting those bushfire-affected plantations,” he said. 

Grafton Pine Forest

Forestry Corporation has around 230,000 hectares of pine plantations in NSW and on average produces enough timber to construct a quarter of the homes built in Australia each year.

Forestry Corporation’s hardwood division has also replanted 1.2 million seedlings over the past financial year across 1087-hectares of plantation forest.

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, visit

Key stats:

NSW total – 11.2 million radiata pine seedlings planted this winter.

Tumut – 5.6 million

Bombala – 3 million

Bathurst – 1.9 million

Grafton – 1 million

Walcha – 700,000