James Newman – North West Operation Forester
My story behind our trees…
My name is Rob Crellin, I am employed as a Forest Officer Native forests (Seed Coordinator) with Sustainable Timber Tasmania in the Southern region. I have worked in the Forest industry for over 30 years and have many years of experience in seed searching, collecting and processing seed ready for aerial sowing.
I plan and organise the entire Southern seed collection program – extract the seed, tin, store & allocate seed and regenerate the areas of forest which have been harvested and burnt.
It’s like magic! That is the only word I can use to describe it. A seed is worth more than its weight in gold.
We sow the seed after the coup has been burnt. The seeds fall on a warm ash bed. If they get a little moisture. It is like a prefect recipe. The seeds wait and wait and then it’s time to grow.
Quite often you will see me happily wondering through the forests somewhere with a set of binoculars, GPS and note book.
I have seen some wonderful sights in the forest. Seed has always fascinated me and I have grown very passionate and feel very connected to the whole process, as I closely watch the many harvested coupes that I have regenerated over the years and know each one in detail.
I don’t turn my back on the seeds once they are sown – the next stage is all about protecting the stock. We are babysitters of each crop until they get to about 1m tall, safe from game and beetles.
Early on I had a mixture of jobs – mainly outdoors in orchard and fish farms. Until I met Ralph Casey and started working as a seed collector and I fell in love with it. When Ralph retired I took on his role and I never looked back.
Visiting the STT seed centre allowed my Environmental Science students the crucial experience of making real life connections with theory they had learnt in the classroom. Rob Crellin both engaged and fascinated students with the effort and planning that goes into seed harvesting, sorting and planting. Many students were unaware that the centre existed and Rob allowed them to understand the importance of using native seeds to replant areas. His passion, enthusiastic manner and attention to detail made that part of our excursion a highlight for many of my students. I look forward to visiting the centre with Rob again in years to come.
If you are interested in finding out more about Rob’s story behind our trees, contact us below.