Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Students dig deep for forest restoration

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University of Canterbury launches tree-planting programme at research area.
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The University of Canterbury has launched a new tree-planting programme at its Cass Field Mountain Research Area.

Supported by the School of Forestry and the university’s facilities management team, 24 Forestry Science and Forest Engineering students planted 654 tawhai rauriki (mountain beech) seedlings on the first planting day of the new programme last month.

“This long-term forest restoration project will become an annual event and will focus around forest restoration activities on Remus Hill at Cass,” UC Associate Professor of Forest Economics David Evison said. 

“Planting and other activities in the area will develop practical skills in forest restoration among our students as well as providing opportunities for on-the-ground learning.”

The site will also be a base for multidisciplinary long-term research projects led by UC’s School of Forestry. Over time questions around establishment, herbivory, seedling propagation, plant associations for shelter, mountain beech growth, and management and economic considerations will be explored, he said.

“The project also allows the students to become familiar with the university’s Cass Mountain Research Area and surrounding environments. 

“Part of the benefit of this long-term programme is the opportunity for our students to develop an understanding of the management of high-country environments as well as an appreciation of the biology and ecology of the area,” Evison said.

Longer term, the programme will connect the students to people who work and live in the high-country environment to further develop their understanding of the land.

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