More than 16 million pine and hardwood seedlings were hand planted in state forest plantations this year.
The trees will grow for around 30 years before being harvested for renewable timber products.
“Timber is a long-term cyclical product with the seedlings planted today growing into the house frames, kitchen cupboards and flooring of tomorrow,” Forestry Corporation’s Strategy and Risk Manager Gavin Jeffries said.
The state-owned Forestry Corporation manages more than 2 million hectares of NSW’s forests.
Mr Jeffries said COVID-19 restrictions presented a significant challenge for workers planting the seedlings.
“As seedlings need to be hand planted, this year also presented a series of issues connected to COVID restrictions and our contractors securing workers on the ground,” he said.
“Fortunately we’ve been able to work through these and adapt, even planting an additional 1,300 ha than planned due to the high seedling quality this year.”
Despite setbacks from COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s planting effort is the largest season recorded.
“This winter’s 14,000-hectare softwood record planting was an important milestone in the organisation’s bushfire recovery program,” Mr Jeffries said.
Regional nursery upgrades funded by the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package meant more seedlings were grown and planted this year.
Most of the seedling crop was grown in regional NSW nurseries including Tumut, Grafton, Narromine and Colac.
The 2022 planting season has already begun with another 13 million seedlings to be sown by the end of winter next year.