Sunday, December 10, 2017

Trees for wood pigeons

Get your Forest and Bird calendar for 2018
 from your local book shop.
We are planning a very long term programme of planting canopy trees that attract our native wood pigeon back into Hamilton Gullies.  Some say there is food that they eat already in Hamilton but this is only bread and butter for them. We want to offer them ice cream and jelly. Their ice cream and jelly is the fruit of nikau, tawa, miro and pigeon wood. We will be targeting the whole 30 hectare Mangaiti gully system. Area size matters when planning something like this.
These trees do have some challenges though. Nikau is easy to grow from seed but is very slow growing. Tawa and pigeon wood are easy to grow from seed but frost tender when young so shelter is necessary. Miro is very hard to grow from seed but is frost hard and grows at a reasonable rate for a canopy tree. For miro collecting seedlings from under a tree where a pigeon roosts is the best bet. We have 40 plants on hand at varying sizes up to about a metre.
All four tree varieties will not tolerate wet feet so will have to be planted on the lower gully slopes.

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