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Poplar and willow poles going fast says NRC


wayne-and-rick-2017-379Landowners with erosion-prone properties from Te Hana north are encouraged to get their orders into the Northland Regional Council (NRC) early for the winter poplar and willow planting season.

With limited pole numbers – and an increasing uptake for planting across Northland – regional councillor Rick Stolwerk says this season’s supply is already being rapidly allocated.

Councillor Stolwerk says when allocating poles, priority is given to applicants in areas the council has identified as having a high erosion risk.

“Supply of planting material is also dependant on having a NRC Farm Water Quality Improvement Plan or a specific NRC planting plan in place.”
To keep up with increasing demand, the council is continuing to expand its nursery operation, which is based south of Whangarei at Flyger Rd, Mata.

The Kaipara Hill Country Erosion Project is now three years into a four-year project targeting areas of high erosion risk on hill country properties in the very large greater Kaipara catchment, which drains roughly one-third of Northland.

Outside of the Kaipara initiative, the council is also offering subsidised poplars and willows from its Flyger Rd nursery to other Northland landowners keen to help control erosion and protect water quality.

Anyone interested in securing poles (either partially or fully subsidised) should contact council land management staff as soon as possible to arrange a consultation and site visit.

“This consultation is to ensure trees are planted appropriately, at the correct place and spacing, and landowners are aware of the future maintenance required for these trees.”

The council sells the 3-metre poles (which usually retail for up to $12 each) for a GST-exclusive $6 each – plus a small delivery fee – to the farm gate, provided landowners already have a farm water quality improvement plan or planting plan.

A number of size grades are now available, from 3m poles down to 1m stakes, to cater for a range of applications and situations.

The fast-growing poplars and willows have broad and binding root systems and have been used widely for many years to prevent and control erosion, and cut waterway sediment pollution.

Interested landowners should contact the Land Management Team directly on (0800) 002 004 as soon as possible to allow time to arrange a farm visit to undertake a required planting plan.

Orders while stocks last, or closing date for orders will be Friday May 4.

 Check out nrc.govt.nz/poplars for more information.

Council land management advisor Wayne Teal, left, and regional councillor Rick Stolwerk in the Flyger Rd nursery last summer.
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