This section is from the book "Tree Planting For Timber And Fuel", by C. B. Mcnaughton.
The first matter is the appointment of a competent officer to take charge of the work. The Town Council has asked for a Government nomination as it appears the services of their own officer in charge of the Oudtshoorn town work cannot be spared. I have suggested the name of Mr. E. Ogston, who has considerable practical experience in nursery work etc. in the Colony—and the Council have already communicated with him and I trust made satisfactory arrangements.
The present homestead is to be placed, I believe, in a proper state of repair, and when this is done should provide suitable accommodation for the Superintendent etc. Arrangements will probably have to be made for housing what labour is required, for this will have to be obtained from elsewhere— the local supply being very limited.
It is more than probable that at first hand watering of the transplants put out will be necessary. Small dams should be made at convenient places and as much water conserved as possible.
All permanent roads should be laid out before commencing work in their probable vicinity, and especially the main approach to the homestead. It would be advisable to have them at least 40 feet wide so that they may serve later as fire lines. A good system of roads is of great advantage to any large plantation.
It will be necessary only to fence as the work proceeds, enclosing only what is about to be planted and what is planted. The work should be well done and specially designed to keep out sheep, goats, etc. This work will prove at first a somewhat expensive item but it cannot be avoided.
No elaborate nursery is necessary as it will be found economical later to move it with the planting. The site should be somewhat sheltered though not too much so on account of frost danger, and close to permanent water. It should be roughly levelled and properly drained. A few portable screens, some rough platforms and frames, a Bupply of paraffin tins and some ordinary gardening tools inclusive of cans, sieves, etc. is all that is necessary.
A convenient site at first might be the old garden.
Should be commenced as soon as possible and properly recorded in a book kept for the purpose. If a set of instruments cannot be obtained from the Meteorological Commission, one should be purchased.
All planting work should be laid out—the ground properly prepared and fenced, a season in advance. When the planting period approaches the area should be pitted, the material extracted, broken up and properly weathered and then replaced ready for the receipt of the transplants as planting weather serves. The surface of the refilled pits should be slightly sunken below the general surface to enable them to hold what water is necessary for the establishment of the transplants.
As regards the scheme of work I would suggest working from the present S.W. boundary below the homestead up the valley in which is situated an old orchard site, then along the valley stretching up towards the water house and then on to the intake. Of course the work must depend on a water supply of some kind as the plants have to be started but difficulties will diminish as the planting proceeds. It should be an object to form a strong shelter belt on the northern and northwestern boundaries and then plant up under their protection, but probably it will be found more practicable under the conditions to plant up as much of the valleys as is possible as the work proceeds and work up as before mentioned.
All work should be protected by a good and sufficient fire line at least 30 feet wide situated outside the line of fencing. The veld in northern portions should also be occasionally burnt off in protection belts.