Helping little trees thrive

Otatara Landcare Group spokesman Douglas Black looks over the growing trees at Bushy Point, Otatara.

HALF a dozen pairs of hands, and two sets of paws, headed to Bushy Point at Otatara on Sunday for a working bee.

Managed by the Otatara Landcare Group, many trees planted at the reserve last year now needed tended.

Group spokesman Douglas Black said it was hoped to be the beginning of a major tree-releasing programme.

The work was to free the young trees from grass, which choked them.

“Generally, vegetation competes with the trees for nutrients and trees can get a big boost if we remove the competing vegetation.”

The Bushy Point Restoration Project aimed to restore a 14ha area of pasture grass.

“The plantings here are quite mixed; there’s a fair bit of totara, cabbage trees, pittosporum, and a fair bit of tussock as well in appropriate places because the land is quite swampy.”

During the project’s 20-year existence, more than 30,000 trees had been planted.

“This is really the beginning. The idea of releasing the trees is not as sexy as the idea of planting them. But the releasing, in some situations, is more critical than the planting.”

The group ran a working bee on the second last Sunday of each month, from 1pm to 3pm at Bushy Point, Otatara.

  • To find out more, or to register for a date in February, text Douglas Black on 022 104 8661, or email