Judges see the good from these trees

December 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

Mt McNeil at Rissington is a classic example of how a hill country farm should be farmed.

 That was the message from one of the judges of the Hawke’s Bay’s Farm Forester of the Year, Garth Eyles, when he described John and Sue Upton’s property.

 The Upton’s hosted 60 people on a field day last Saturday (1 December 2012) to view the 785ha property.

 The farm has 166ha of radiata pine forestry, almost 10ha of protected wetlands, 37ha of special purpose timber species and ornamentals, and a 5ha QEII National Trust bush covenant on a Kanuka forest.

 The Uptons, who are absentee owners and live in Wellington, contract out their tree management.  “We are totally reliant on other people to do all the hard work and extremely grateful for the input we have had,” Mr Upton said.

 Mark Morice manages the radiata blocks while Kevin Thomsen manages the ornamental and special purpose plantings.  The pastoral land is leased to the Absolom family whose bull and ram breeding business in now part of Focus Genetics.

 Mr Upton credited friends and former Dannevirke farmers Tony and Bibby Plummer for encouraging them to start planting.  First, the radiata blocks were planted, and then in 2000 they began planting ornamentals and special purpose woodlots, and now have 196 different species of trees planted on the farm.

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Entry filed under: General Interest.

GRANT BRUNTON George Macmillan


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