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The NZDFI is now well-established, and, as a partner of the Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership, has secure funding for seven years (2015-2022).
2010 – Over the fencepost: Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, produced a report ‘Over the fencepost’ for the organic farming sector, which was struggling under new certification constraints banning the use of CCA-treated posts. The report provided details of various acceptable alternatives to CCA treated posts.
Durable eucalypt posts, especially home-grown ones, were the preferred option of the report’s author, organic farmer Heather Atkinson, who is now also a member of the NZDFI Extension Team.
2010 - Australian work on growth strain in young trees continues, leading to a publication: The wood properties of subtropical and tropical hardwood plantation timber grown for high-value products in Australia (Harding et al 2012). This work led to the establishment of NZDFI's new field testing and growth strain assessment at Murray's Nursery, Woodville.
2011 – the second NZ durable eucalypts workshop: the NZDFI/University of Canterbury workshop held a second successful workshop, ‘Developing a durable eucalypt resource: learning from Australia and elsewhere’. This workshop saw presentations from 11 Australian researchers plus a number of NZ researchers.
2015 – the Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership (SWP) is formed: the NZDFI becomes a partner in the government/industry research partnership focusing on alternatives to radiata pine. The SWP receives seven-year, $7 million funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and industry partners to boost research and development into processing and marketing products made from specialty species including durable eucalypts.
2016 - trial site network expands from 14 to 25 sites: over 200 permanent sample plots (PSPs) are established and measured. This provides a solid foundation of data from which to evaluate performance of species and families at and between different locations in future. A high-tech stem corer is developed in conjunction with Callaghan Innovation, and the first major core sampling of 6-year-old trees is completed. Cores are tested for extractives content with the aim of developing a technique for early identification of trees with superior durability.
2017 - a successful international two-day workshop is held in Marlborough with published proceedings. Marlborough vineyard survey completed - the first analysis of vineyard posts after a decade of use. The posts are found to be performing extremely well - full details are in the report: Performance of naturally durable posts in Marlborough Vineyards.
Three new E. quadrangulata breeding trials are established, two in Marlborough and one in the central North Island.
2018 - the first NZDFI PhD is completed: Huimin Lin becomes the first of the 2015 cohort of researchers to complete her PhD. A further successful 'Durable eucalypts for drylands' workshop/research update is held, this time in Christchurch. Four further demonstration trials are established in the North Island, including the first trials in Northland. The NZDFI Regional Strategy consultation document is launched.