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Remutaka Conservation Trust Catchpool Nursery

The Trust runs a small nursery down at the Catchpool Valley entrance. It is tucked in behind the DOC Field Depot just off the Coast Road and features several custom-built seedling benches, an automated overhead irrigation system and shade cloth for those plants needing less direct access to sunlight and plenty of space for holding & growing plants until they are ready to plant out. There's a large lockup container for tools, gardening equipment & supplies, plus some big bins for storing compost and potting mix, etc.

Nursery Working Bees

From time to time we run nursery working bees to maintain the nursery equipment, storage areas and carry out plant hygiene tasks, transplanting and weeding and maintenance.

Leading this activity in recent years, is Mike Rees, who sets the date and time (typically on a weekend) and rallies the troops to perform their green-thumbs magic on the day.

Mike Rees and nursery group volunteers on a working bee down at the Catchpool nursery

Mike Rees (thumbs up) and his team of nursery group volunteers on a working bee down at the Catchpool nursery in February 2020 before the Covid-19 lockdown began in March.

Nursery working bee volunteers caring for and attending to plants down at the Catchpool nursery

Nursery working bee volunteers caring for and attending to plants down at the Catchpool nursery. Typical tasks include a regular cycle of weeding, transplanting, pruning, watering, repotting seedlings and pricking out seed trays, etc. Includes the removal of any unhealthy plants and rotation of containers...

Volunteers tending to kanuka and manuka seedling in the Catchpool nursery

Volunteers tending to kanuka and manuka seedlings in the Catchpool nursery.

ANZ corporate volunteers did some repotting and weeding work as part of their Volunteer Day experience in February this year. Photo credit: PC.

Winter Planting

The winter months are the best time to plant out the native trees and plants we have grown in our nursery.

Group of volunteers in a nursery transferring kanuka seedlings from root-trainers to larger pots.
'Green-thumbs' volunteers transfering kanuka seedlings from root-trainers to larger pots at our native tree nursery down at the Catchpool. (Click image for larger view). Photo credit: PC.


Seed Collection & Plant Propagation

We have a policy – and a permit from DOC – to collect suitable seed and plant clippings from the Remutaka Forest Park so that we can guarantee the eco-sourced nature of all appropriate native trees and plant material for propagation in our nursery and for eventual planting out in our habitat-specific restoration zones during the 2020 through 2024 planting seasons.

Over the next month or two, using our revised revegetation planting list & restoration plan, Jonathan Bussell and I will lead a couple of seed-collecting expeditions into the park to collect eco-sourced seed for our nursery and for future plantings.

Due to the arrival of Myrtle rust in our region, we are shifting focus away from kanuka and manuka seed collection this year and moving back to a selection of other primary pioneering plant groups (like flax, toetoe and small shrubs) appropriate for both riparian, wetlands restoration and native forest regeneration.

Plant Lists

View our revised Plant List for the Catchpool Restoration Zones here.

Large Brown Vagrant Spider (Uliodon albopunctatus)

This impressive resident was uncovered after moving plant seedling trays in our nursery on Sunday. After posing for a couple of photos and featuring in an iNaturalistNZ observation, it was returned to guard the nursery once again.

Large brown Vagrant spider
Large brown Vagrant spider - Photo credit: PC.