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Establishment Forester

An establishment forester is in charge of the prepping and planting of plantation forests. They ensure that the pine trees have the best start and will produce valuable product when they are harvested 32 years later.

Establishing a forest requires a lot of careful planning. After a mature plantation block is harvested, the excess material (i.e., branches, bark, and stumps) is left on-site to decompose and replenish the nutrient content of the soil. This excess material is called biomass, and it is crucial to the establishment phase of forestry, as the pine seedlings that will be planted in the block need nutrient rich soil to thrive.

A tractor drags a titanium roller that weighs many tonnes across the block in straight lines meticulously back-and-forth, breaking up the stumps and other biomass. This helps speed the process up and makes it a lot easy to plant the trees come planting season.

After the tractor has broken up the biomass, it swaps its roller attachment over for something called a Bracke. This attachment follows the path taken by the roller, ensuring it accurately covers the plantation block. As it is pulled by the tractor, the Bracke digs evenly spaced divots in the soil to mark where the samplings are to eventually be planted.

After planting, the block is sprayed with chemicals that target any weed species that have appeared since harvest. This ensures the trees are not smothered by competitive weeds. The block will also receive spraying after three years.

Bella, OneFortyOne Establishment Forester, on plantation block being planted. Tree Planters planting in distance (on right).

OneFortyOne acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their deep connections to land, water, and community. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations people today.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori communities have a strong spiritual connection between people and the land – the wellbeing of one sustains the wellbeing of the other. We strive to build meaningful relationships with iwi as tangata whenua (people of the land/region), to be responsible intergenerational kaitiaki (stewards/guardians) of the land where our forests grow.