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The New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative (NZDFI) is a commercially-oriented research and development project. It aims to develop genetically improved planting stock and management systems for ground-durable eucalypt species suited to New Zealand’s dryland regions.
Much of eastern New Zealand has low rainfall (600–1000 mm per year): rainfall which is likely to become less predictable as the impacts of climate change manifest themselves. Landowners in these regions need sustainable, economically viable land-use alternatives to complement traditional rural enterprises.
Our select eucalypt species are renowned for their adaptability to drought, are very fast-growing, and produce strong, naturally durable hardwood timber. This timber remains sound in outdoor conditions for many decades without chemical treatment.
The NZDFI is researching the genetic potential of selected eucalypts so as to breed high-quality planting stock suitable for New Zealand’s dryland regions. The NZDFI will also develop forest management systems for growers, and enable access to national and international timber markets.