The forestry industry worldwide is following the clonal route.
Ken Leisegang and Bryn Pollard have been actively involved in expanding the company into clonal forestry. The intention is to enable farmers and foresters to increase their timber yields on existing timber land, which is becoming scarce. Expansion into eucalyptus has been most successful.
Sunshine Seedling Services has been involved in Eucalyptus clonal forestry for more than twelve years and has grown from a small production unit to one of the biggest private clonal facilities in the country.
The last three years has seen a number of changes on the clonal side. The demand for clonal material has increased significantly as field trials have reached rotation age and farmers have seen that by planting the correct clone on a good site one can get as much as 30% increase in yield.
Sunshine has a selection of GXN, GXU and GXC clones that have been extensively tested across a number of sites. We will able to assist most farmers with matching a clone to their farm. Clones are site specific and should be planted on your highest potential areas to gain maximum benefit.
Tip cuttings are taken from small Rammets (mother plants) inside tunnels. This change in technique has meant that Sunshine have had to erect a further twenty tunnels for mother plants. The major advantage being that the rooting has improved significantly. Another advantage is that the root system is very similar to that of a seedling thus giving the clone a more robust root plug.
Sunshine has the capacity to increase to 3.5 million rooted cuttings per annum. 65% of the production would be GXN’s, 30% E.grandis E.urophylla and the remainder made up of the new clones currently being developed for commercial deployment.
Sunshine is one of only two private nurseries that have commercial amounts of GXU clones tested by FABI for resistance to the Gall Wasp (Leptocybe invesa). The GXU clones should be planted instead of the susceptible E. grandis seedlings. Growers are strongly advised to consider the GXU clones as they are not only resistant to the wasp but also have better volume, canopy faster and coppice very well.