It’s planting time. Is anyone thinking of planting commercial blackwood this autumn?
If so please let me know – I’d like to help.
It has been a very dry season so far. Unless we get some rain in the next few weeks it may be too dry to plant in some places this year.
Remember the first rule for successfully growing commercial blackwood is selecting the right site. If you are unsure I can help.
We can actually use the current dry season to help identify good sites. If your proposed planting site still has green grass then that is a very good sign that there is plenty of summer soil moisture. These sites are the best for getting good blackwood growth.
As for the planting regime my recommendation is to keep it simple. Until we gain more experience and confidence in growing commercial blackwood then keeping things as simple as possible is the best place to start.
If you are planting this autumn then your site preparation should be happening now:
1. Protection from browsing by all herbivores is very important. Unless your site is more than about 1 hectare in area, you will need tree guards for each tree. For larger areas you might consider mesh fencing. Work out the costings and see what is your cheapest option – tree guards or fencing.
2. Mark out your site with a 7 x 7 metre grid. This equates to 204 trees per hectare. With this tree spacing there will be no need to thin. Not every tree will survive or prosper with good management I would expect better than 80% success.
3. Do weed control in a 1 metre radius circle at each grid point.
4. You should now be ready to plant.
The best time to plant is from late March through to early May. Again, rainfall and soil moisture will be critical to watch in the coming weeks.
Commercial blackwood plantation – perfect land use and investment for that difficult, weed-covered slope.