Project Plant-it-Forward is our way of helping to offset our carbon footprint, as well as providing a habitat for birds, insects and lizards. This is an on going project, with the goal to plant a three acre block in native plants.
The first trees were planted in 2008 and so far between 800-1000 trees have been planted (as of May 2020). As the existing trees grow, we will be able to plant additional species that require the shelter of larger trees. Many of the plants we have grown from seed and there are currently 360 seedlings waiting to be planted (as of May 2020).
Trees species that have been planted so far
We have planted a lot of Kānuka which over time will form a nursery to shelter other species. Kānuka looks stunning when in flower and is loved by bees.
Bellbird & Tūī are attracted to the nectar of the Flax / Harakeke flower. Although we call it a Flax, Harakeke is actually a lily.
The purple-black berries of Whiteywood / Māhoe provide a food source for birds. We are seeing numerous Māhoe seedlings, which have grown from seed spread by birds.
Mānuka / Kahikātoa flowers provide an important source of pollen & nectar for native bees, flies, beetles & geckos. It’s a hardy plant which we have found easy to grow.
Ribbonwood can grow up to a height of 17m, making it New Zealand’s tallest deciduous tree.
The Cabbage Tree / Tī kōuka is an easily recognisable tree. They prefer growing in wetter areas, so we have planted these in swampier areas where they are thriving.
The tallest of the Pittosporums, Lemonwood / Tarata, provides pollen & nectar for bees. Smell the crushed leaves & you’ll discover why it’s called Lemonwood.
Broadleaf / Kāpuka, with their glossy green leaves, have an almost tropical look. Their dark purple to black berries provide food for Bellbird, Kererū, Tūī & Waxeyes.
Rimu are part of the Podocarp family. Their juvenile stage is particularly attractive, and they can go on to grow up to 50m in height.
In New Zealand there are four beech species & one subspecies. Pure Beech forest compromises around half of the country’s remaining native forests.
There are many species of hebe, and we have planted numerous Koromiko. These grow to around 2m tall and were used by Māori for medicinal purposes.
Tōtara, like all Podocarp trees, have cones with male & female cones growing on different trees. We have planted numerous Tōtara as they were once abundant here.
In spring, Kōwhai are covered in brilliant yellow flowers which provide nectar for Tūī & Bellbird. It’s found throughout New Zealand in a diverse range of habitats.
Corokia / Korokio are shrubs growing up to 2m tall. In late summer / early autumn their berries provide food for birds.
White Pine / Kahikatea grow in swampy conditions, where most other trees would not survive. This is our tallest native tree, reaching up to 60m in height.
There has been a noticeable increase in bird life and now Fantail / Pīwakawaka, Tūī, Bellbird, Wax Eyes, Wood Pigeon / Kererū and Weka are regularly seen. We have species of plants that provide nectar (Flax and Kōwhai) as well as berries (Pseudopanax, Māhoe, Corokia and Podocarps)
Pests and Predators
We consider it a privilege to be part of a new wasp bait trial run by Key Industries Ltd. We have numerous bait stations around the area that has been replanted, allowing scientists to assess the efficiency of the bait.
Possums and Stoats
The next stage of the project will involve setting up traps for Stoats and Possums. If we can keep their numbers down then the survival rate of native birds will increase.
Many of the trees planted flower prolifically, providing a food source for bees. During the course of the year, Mānuka, Hebe and Lacebark flower become alive with the buzz of bees.