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Grower information

NZDFI aims to provide forest growers with the knowledge and resources to establish new hardwood forests as an alternative land use in New Zealand’s eastern drylands.

Our select eucalypts provide dryland farmers with an opportunity to grow a valuable, versatile ground-durable timber crop on a relatively short rotation. Our eucalypts produce nectar and pollen for bees and native birds and can be planted for soil stabilisation and shelter.

NZDFI is targeting dryland regions between Canterbury and Gisborne. These regions have low annual rainfall (600mm-1000mm), and are prone to summer droughts, the frequency and severity of which are forecast to increase with climate change. Eucalypts are renowned for their ability to survive droughts while maintaining fast growth rates.

NZDFI Target Grower Regions

  • Gisborne
  • Hawke’s Bay
  • Southern Horizons
  • Wairarapa
  • Marlborough
  • North Canterbury

Trials have been planted in all the above dryland regions. We have also recently planted trials in Northland, the Bay of Plenty and in the central North Island, to investigate the potential for these species over as wide a range of site types as is sensible.

More information on our trials

NZDFI trial sites including new 2018 plantings.

Developing confidence in growing ground-durable eucalypts

NZDFI is well aware that growers considering investing resources in planting our eucalypts need to be confident that they will reap good returns from durable timber.

The strength of our project lies in our strategic scientific approach, backed by our network of trials on a range of land-types, both on farms and in forests. By breeding improved eucalypt planting stock of a range of species, developing growing regimes to suit varied conditions, and promoting multiple markets for durable eucalypt timber, NZDFI aims to make eastern New Zealand home to a valuable sustainable hardwood industry by 2050.

Visit our Guidelines for Growers section for lots more practical information on growing durable eucalypts successfully.