About one million radiata pine seedlings from Forestry Corporation of NSW arrived in the region in preparation for a bumper 2021 State forest planting program.
The BEST Nursery in Inverell will manage the seedlings on behalf of Forestry Corporation to acclimatise to northern NSW conditions, before they continue their journey to the Walcha region for planting.
Forestry Corporation's Grafton Nursery Manager, Kath French, said the path from seed to planted seedling relies on the support of countless local businesses such as the BEST Nursery.
"We have now moved our Walcha area seedlings to the BEST Nursery for four months of cold hardening prior to planting," Ms French said
"These will be sorted in June, ready for a dispatch of 700,000 seedlings into the Walcha region in July.
"Inverell has the perfect climate for propagation and hardening of native species along with the cold hardening of radiata pine for northern NSW areas."
The BEST Nursery has two permanent staff committed care for the pine crop to ensure the healthiest seedlings are available to the grading teams to dispatch.
"This year is the third year that we have used this operation to harden radiata pine seedlings, allowing us to supply site-specific seedlings for the Walcha area," Ms French said.
"As we can't supply cold hardened seedlings from Grafton, the BEST Nursery is the critical link for the Walcha sites."
Seedling production at the Grafton nursery has been boosted for the 2021 planting program after a $1 million expansion last year.
The nursery expansion was part of the NSW Government's stimulus funding and will fast-track efforts to replant timber plantations affected by fires in the 2019-20 Black Summer.
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