Tung Oil Plantation; 17-16


Tung Oil Plantation

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A) Land prepared and ready for planting tung trees that produce nuts from which oil is extracted.
B) Tung oil plants in early stages of growth.
C) & D) Natural flooding on the tung oil plantation occurred along a dip in Braddock Road.
E & F) Young tung trees before replanting.
G) Tung Oil Nuts on tree

The Tung Oil Plantation was a Government Relief Work Scheme for unemployed men during the depression. 700 acres were ploughed by contract from the Wellsford-Mangawai Road to the vicinity of the old Te Arai Cemetery. 56,700 trees were planted which also includes replanting.

Tung nuts were imported from Japan and grown to produce tung oil which was to be used in the manufacture of paint, varnish and linoleum etc. The tung nuts were unsuitable for NZ soil. Flooding occurred along a dip on Braddock Road where the tung nuts were grown. The land was very boggy resulting in never-ending rescue missions with the bullocks being used to pull the tractor free.

The work at Tomarata/Te Arai began in 1929 and was closed down in 1936 by the Government.

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