Author Archives: kathryn

TFS Planting Day

Due to forecast rain on the 8th August, the TFS planting day with Takapuna Normal Intermediate, on Noeline Wainwright’s property, was postponed until Thursday, the 15th August.  We were devastated to learn from Shelly, the TFS co-ordinator, that the cows had managed to get hold of about 300 cabbage trees and carex.

Fortunately, the roots of many of the chewed plants were still in tact so we planted them and hope the pruning will kick them into action.

The rain held off and the children and volunteers planted approximately 600 wetland plants.  Many thanks to Takapuna Normal Intermediate and our volunteers, Arthur and Trish Gundy, Neil and Cheryl Sutherland.  Thanks also to Linda Lee for organising a delicious lunch and to Noeline for hosting the day and supporting the project.

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Shifting plants for TFS Planting Day

This ended up being one of the most straight-forward plant transporting days we have had.
It occurred to me that Noelene Wainwright’s 4WD might be available and she kindly obliged so Chris was able to drive all the plants down to the site.
Noelene said this wouldn’t have been possible if it had been wet.  Sue Gibbings turned up.  She is a very organised person and we had the plants counted and sorted in just over an hour.  Chris managed to dig  about 120 holes.  There were fewer plants than last year (approx 800 excluding the rejects). There were very few manuka.  The caretaker of Takapuna Intermediate told me that most of these plants died after he replaced the batteries on the automatic watering system and they turned out to be duds.  Manuka are vulnerable at the best of times and they didn’t enjoy not being watered for three days in a very hot school playground!



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Belated update

It has been some time since this site has been updated.

An intensive weeding effort took place on 28 March and 29 March 2013 (5 hours in total) to eradicate an established growth of moth plant on Mt Pleasant Drive.  The pods were removed and bagged and the area sprayed.  Follow-up management will be required.

There have been fewer formal weeding/planting days since Easter due to study and family commitments until a week ago.

Monday 15 July – Trish and I weeded at the top of the catchment area for 2 1/2 hours, split carex and replanted along the stream.

Wednesday 17 July – Trish, Anita, Anita’s friend Charlotte and I weeded for 3 hours and planted seedlings grown by Arthur.  The girls scaled the waterfall and removed tradescantia.

Thursday, 18 July – I met with an Auckland Council representative to discuss the major weed problem along the paper road at the bottom of Tenetahi Rd.  From 2.30 – 4.00pm Trish, Anita, Charlotte and I cleared weeds on the Dingle’s wetland area and removed all but one of the weed bags.  From 2.30 – 4.00pm, we continued planting at the top of the valley.

Friday, 19 July Trish and I couldn’t resist spending another two hours in the valley, splitting carex and clearing a pathway towards the waterfall.

All in all a very productive four days.

We located some rather large centipedes in the valley.


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An advertisement for Palmers?

An advertisement for Palmers?






Weeding in the Drought

The waterfall at the top of the valley has stopped flowing and the stream bed is dry after nearly two months of no decent rainfall in the area.

Trish and I weeded for three hours at the top of the valley in the more aptly named dry-land rather than wetland area.

The weeds came out quite easily  and we filled one of the large black weed bags in no time at all.

In the afternoon Jo Evans and I met with Darryll Hollamby, a roading engineer and technical services support person for the paper roads in the Rodney area.

The responsibility for weed control on council owned paper roads has been passed around a bit and, according to Darryll, there is next to no money available to manage these areas of land.

We showed him the area of concern and he said he would endeavour to look into the problem but made no promises that funding would be made available.

Summer holidays 2012/13

In sharp contrast to last summer, there has been very little rain and a total fire ban has been put in place.   It was too hot to do much weeding during the day so Chris and I set off early in the morning to attack privet and moth plant on McMullin’s property.  Our war against privet in other areas of the valley has been extremely successful with lots of regeneration evident.

Sue Crawshay from Trees for Survival carried out her annual inspection of the plants and was impressed with the healthy specimens.  We look forward to working with Trees for Survival again during 2013 on McMullin’s, Wainwright’s and Wyatt’s properties.

Despite advanced spraying, bind weed has again taken hold of the plants in the wetland area on our property and within the valley.  Further hand releasing was carried out and follow-up spraying will be necessary.

Unfortunately something has attacked the weedbags which were located in the Dingle’s wetland area.  It is uncertain as to whether birds, rats or a pig have made numerous holes in the bags.  I contacted the manufacturer who was interested in the feedback which will assist him with product development.   The holes were sealed with masking tape and some of the bags have been shifted to the Watkinson’s property where a major weeding effort is taking place.

Our application to fence Wyatt’s property has been successful and a further application is underway for wetland plants for the Gundy’s wetland area and the valley.

Weeding Wetland Area

The trees planted in April on the Dingle’s wetland area are thriving (and so are the weeds).  When I visited the area a few weeks ago, the trees were all visible but there had been a burst of spring weed growth and you could barely find the plants.  Thanks to Sue Gibbings and Jo Evans meticulous weeding efforts, the plants are now cleared and ready for spraying.

Chris planted another 30 flaxes kindly donated by A1 Landscaping Services and also sprayed McMullin’s property.  The trees are also thriving – with a 95% survival rate.

Planting the Steep slopes

This was our first planting effort for several months and we were determined to plant the 500 trees left over from the Trees for Survival planting day which had been nurtured at the Takapuna Intermediate school nursery.   Many thanks to Keith, Richard, Arthur, Anna and Soxi (two university students from the Leigh Marine Laboratory) who assisted on Saturday pm.  Anna and Soxi were the most energetic and enthusiastic volunteers we have had to date and we were amazed at their level of fitness and  how quickly they worked.

Unfortunately a lot of time was wasted digging through the kikuya which should have been sprayed several weeks ago.  Despite the wet winter, the soil was surprisingly dry in parts.

Trish arrived on Sunday morning along with her grandson Damian and his friend Scott (two delightful young men) who worked hard and transported all the trees down to the wetland area, saving our poor aging knees.  We managed to plant all the remaining trees on Sunday afternoon and this morning thanks to Keith’s dogged determination and Chris’s assistance with the weedeater.  Our backs and knees were certainly feeling it by the time we had finished.  The next job will be releasing the previously planted trees which are being strangled by kikuya and many other varieties of weeds.


Trees for Survival Planting Day

After several days of heavy rainfall it was a perfect day for our Trees for Survival planting day with Takapuna Intermediate.

A lovely group of children,  parents and volunteers from Takapuna Rotary planted just over 500 trees.

Thank you to all our volunteers and a special thanks to Takapuna Rotary and Takapuna Intermediate.

Sorting plants for Trees for Survival

We were rather surprised to discover that the trees we had delivered to Leigh for the planting day on Friday 27 July had not been counted.

We had made the mistake of taking them out of their crates in order to do 2 trips instead of 4, thereby saving travelling costs.

Thanks to Trish and Arthur for their help with sorting, counting and shifting the plants.  It took four of us 3 hours to complete this task.  Arthur spent another two hours the following day transporting the remaining trees to the planting site.

Next time we will leave them in their crates!

Conservation Volunteers

A last minute booking was made with Conservation Volunteers who offered a special deal:

The team consisted of 8 volunteers.  Team leader Dawn Gasparro,  Lydia Doerig (Switzerland), Virginie Dubois (Belgium), Sophie Laroque (Germany), Robyn Dempsey (UK), Joe Adey (UK).  I thought I noted a look of disappointment on their faces when they arrived at our little cottage and later discovered their previous accommodation had been a luxury lodge in the South Island with individual rooms!

The remainder of the morning and early afternoon was spent working at the bottom of Sir Duncan McMullin’s property – mainly pulling out privet.  Many thanks to Rupert Harrison for all his help.  What a back breaking job.  Sadly Chris and I had to return to Auckland.  We have given the volunteers a list of jobs including digging out ginger behind the brown cottage, and planting the wetland area.  We look forward to seeing what they achieve.