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Trip Report - Druce QEII Covenant workbee

Trip Report – 26 January 2010:   Druce QEII Covenant workbee

As with the last Druce Covenant workbee, the tasks which the late Helen had thoughtfully listed in advance, assisted us to prioritise our work on this steep, Pinehaven hillside planted and maintained by Helen and Tony over c. 6 decades.   Allison Druce deputised for Helen on the day.   Members enjoyed seeing the many shrub species, and beautiful grasses such as red tussock, Chionochloa rubra, in flower.   Seedlings of kowhai, rimu and tanekaha were noted, as Helen wished.   Overgrown shrubs were carefully trimmed, including a whippy karamu overhanging the patio.   The creek was cleared of debris and rubbish, and masses of Ehrharta erecta / veld grass, were removed from near the house and also in the summit orchard, from around the edges of the 100m² of weed cloth laid in 2009 to suppress it.   Helen always used to ask for a report on the health of the spindly, c. 30-year-old Metrosideros bartlettii high up on the hill track.   This year it seems to have responded at last to the regular dose of fertiliser received over several workbees, by increasing its foliage density.   However, heavily shaded by surrounding beeches, it obviously needs as much light as possible, as all rata species do, and we plan to advise Peter Ettema, the Queen Elizabeth II Trust representative, about this and also the fact that gorse, broom and pines invading from the north need eradicating.

Participants :   Bev Abbott, Barbara Clark, Alison Druce (leader), Chris Hopkins, Chris Horne, Rodney Lewington, Barbara Mitcalfe (deputy leader), Gail Mossy, Grant Roberts, Darea Sherratt, Carol West.


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