Helpful Tips

Each sale comes with a one page summary giving tips on successful planting.

Shelterbelt spacing guide

Pines - 1 to 2 metres
Eucalyptus and Wattle - 2 to 4 metres
Japanese cedar - 1.2 to 2 metres
Sheoak - 1 to 2 metres

If you are following an existing shelterbelt, just copy the same spacing if you are satisfied with the plant density. If unsure, or doing a new shelterbelt, use the spacing in the middle of the above spacing ranges.

Plant 1.5 metres at a minimum from any existing fences.

Double rows

Space rows 1.5 metres apart, and the trees 2 metres apart in the lines. Stagger planting- plant the second row plants in the gaps in the first row.

Firewood lots

If you are concentrating on growing plants for firewood more than for shelter, space at 4 metres apart at a minimum. They form thicker trunks at this spacing.

Working out plant numbers required

  1.  Pace the fenceline where you intend planting.  Check first that your pace is approximately a metre.  Use a tape measure on the ground to check.
  2. Cut a stick two to three metres in length and use this to measure by placing on the ground.
  3. Use a measuring wheel (Rototape).  These are available from most hire centres.  This method is the easiest and most accurate.

Get the total length in metres, and divide by the spacing you require (the average is 1.5 metres). This gives you plant numbers required.

Choosing the right seedling species

  1.  Have a look around your local area.  What shelterbelt trees grow well there?  Use one of these varieties for your farm.  If unsure as to the species, take a cutting into a local nursery and they should be able to identify it.  Or contact the owner of the property – most people are normally only too happy to help.
  2. If still unsure, even after looking at plant characteristics on this website, buy a small number (1 dozen) of the most preferred species as a test planting.  See how they do after a year.

Setting out of your shelterbelt

  1. Rather than plant shelterbelts in one row, if you have the space, plant two rows.
    One row can be for continual firewood, and the other for permanent shelter. 
    Immediately replace the trees removed for firewood during the next planting season.
  2. Leave a tractor width gap between the fence and shelterbelt to make it easier to get a tractor in to trim the shelterbelt.  This gap can still be used to graze stock.

(see photo above)

Other useful tips

The height of the plants, as advertised on this website, is taken from the top of the soil to the tip of the plant.

Some of the plants may need staking. Bamboo stakes, and tying with cloth soft tie works well.

If the plants go yellow after a few months they need fertiliser. Liquid blood and bone is available from your local Farm Store (Farmlands, etc) or from Mitre 10 or Bunnings. This is very effective when used at 10 mls a litre (twice the recommended dosage rate). Do not fertilise in autumn if your location is prone to moderate to heavy frosts. The new growth from using fertiliser is very susceptible to frost damage. Wait until spring to fertilise.

Very occasionally plants such as Pines (Pinus radiata) and Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylin) can be affected by Thrip (insect pest). Leaves appear white to silver and looks like icing sugar has been scattered over plant. It is important plants are treated within a few days of this appearing. Maverick and Conqueror oil are effective.

For local customers, if you can’t recycle the rootrainers (number six plastic) you can drop them off at the nursery where they will be reused.

Environment footprint – fresh tank water (rainwater) is used to irrigate the plants, and natural organic sprays such as pyrethrum and conqueror oil are used, along with liquid blood and bone to fertilise the seedlings. We find them more effective than man made products rather than trying to make any environmental statement.