Choosing the right growing regime for your site and objectives

NZDFI’s selected species are adapted to cover the  diverse hill country with differing soils and climate found within New Zealand’s north-eastern regions. Within these regions, forest growers’ choice of durable eucalypt regime and species will be influenced by a number of important factors.


Factors influencing choice of growing regime

  • Owners’ objectives and resources
    Landowners will want a return on their investment into growing durable eucalypts. This could be from timber, carbon, environmental benefits or a combination of these. However, landowners will have different site and environmental conditions. The scale of forest area they can plant and manage will also vary. Choice of a durable species and regime needs to match these factors.
  • Property soils, climate and land class (LUC)
    Site conditions, scale, soils and climate combined with aspect and drainage will also influence the choice of species and regime for any given site.
  • Topography including internal access for regime management and harvest
    The topography of a possible forestry site will limit the regime that can be chosen. Gentle topography could support any regime including a post and pole regime suited to mechanical ground-based harvesting. On steeper hill country, sawlog production may be the better option. Very steep and erodible areas (e.g. land that is red-zoned under the NES-PF) could be planted as permanent forests, with potential benefits of carbon sequestration, soil conservation, and biodiversity.
  • Property location including transport options and distance to sustainable log markets  Our strategy is to identify regional wood-supply catchments where growers will supply a central processing plant. This processing plant will produce durable timber products for certain markets - e.g. posts and poles may initially be the dominant market in an area like Marlborough. Choice of regime may therefore be influenced by regional plans for a wood supply catchment based on a future processing plant.

NZDFI’s four proposed regimes

  • Peeler pole plantation: a short-rotation (e.g. 20-25 years), relatively intensive regime on easy land, producing veneer for engineered wood products and naturally durable posts and poles for the primary industry.
  • Peeler log/sawlog plantation: a longer regime (25-40 years) on hillier country, producing sawlogs which can be either peeled for veneer or sawn to produce a range of high-value products.
  • Permanent forests: a no-harvest regime for steep, remote and erosion-prone country, which will sequester carbon, protect soils, produce honey and nectar and add biodiversity to landscapes.
  • Continuous cover forests: a system of growing and harvesting individual trees or small coupes using small-scale harvesting equipment and on-site portable sawmilling, ideal for growers wanting diverse outputs from their plantation.