Infill planting has been taking place at several Waikato RiverCare sites between Ngaruawahia and Rangiriri this week. The Operations Manager is being supported with assistance from two volunteers keen to do their bit to help improve the health and wellbeing of the awa.
The slow growing and long-lived Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) and Totara trees (Podocarpus totara) are being planted to help build a platform of resilience to Waikato RiverCare’s established planting projects. The trees have been purchased using funding from Enveco, a long term supporter and funder of Waikato RiverCare’s work to improve riparian health with plantings. Waikato RiverCare appreciates Enveco’s contribution to the infill planting programme as their funding provides for both the purchase of plants and the required follow up maintenance to achieve long-term success.
Earlier this month project visits confirmed they are in excellent condition with significant plant growth already. A mild winter has caused little frost damage and there has only been one significant flood event, limiting the accumulation of flood debris on projects and damage to plantings.
Low river levels over winter have allowed vegetation to establish on the terraces, which are normally inundated over winter. This should assist with river bank stability.
Unfortunately the mild winter also benefits the weeds: two key weeds, yellow flag iris and alligator weed, are out early and making the most of high sunlight levels before willow and alder come into leaf. Weed control is already underway, with spot spraying completed at Ngaruawahia esplanade, Hakarimata A extension, Raahui Pookeka A, Taupiri A, B and D. Large scale project weed control is planned for next month at the Te Awa and Hakarimata E sites.