Recommended growing regimes

The NZDFI has identified four potential growing regimes for durable eucalypts, to suit different owner objectives and site types. Two regimes focus on timber production, and two are permanent forest cover regimes. The main production regimes are based on known anticipated markets in NZDFI’s target regions.


1.  Peeler pole plantations

On flat-to-easy sites, a short rotation system with clear felling to produce logs for peeling from around age 15 to 20 years.  Logs will be suitable for rotary peeling to produce veneer for use in engineered wood products with the peeler cores suitable for naturally durable posts and poles for vineyards, horticulture, agriculture, and organic enterprises. Sites need good road access, and to be within economic transport distance to markets.

2. Peeler log/sawlog plantations

On hillier sites, plantations can be grown to produce large sawlogs with harvest at age 30 to 40 years. These logs will be suitable for sawing to produce high value durable hardwood products including posts and poles, cross-arms, decking, sleepers, outdoor furniture etc and also be suitable for peeling to produce veneer for engineered wood products. Timber for on-farm use could be another option.

Sites need good road access, and to be within economic transport distance to markets.

3. Permanent forests

Permanent forests will suit very steep, highly erodible and remote sites where eucalypts will deliver benefits of carbon sequestration, pollen and nectar production, and a resilient forest of species adapted to climate change. No harvesting is ever envisaged from these forests.

4. Continuous cover forests

Harvesting would be limited to individual trees or small-coupe systems using small scale harvesting equipment and on-site portable sawmilling. Eucalypts are well suited to this form of management as they can readily coppice and regenerate from seed within a mixed age stand following harvest. These forests will produce timber as well as biodiversity, soil conservation, amenity and carbon benefits.


Summary: NZDFI’s four recommended growing regimes


Regime Estimated rotation length Primary outputs/benefits Key features

Peeler pole plantation

15-20 years

Posts and poles (vineyards/horticulture/organics) Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) – logs rotary peeled. Potential for bio energy and eucalypt oil. Short rotation and high stocking. Potential for clonal forestry with regular injection of new genetics.
Sawlog/peeler log plantation 30-40 years Peeler logs for LVL Sawlogs for domestic processing or on-farm use. Long rotation and low stocking to produce large sawlogs.

Permanent forests

Species are adapted to climate change (drought-tolerant). Trees can live for hundreds of years. Carbon sequestration; soil stabilisation; nectar and honey for bees/native wildlife; biodiversity; as a nurse for long-term indigenous regeneration on some sites. Potential for steep and erodible sites. High productivity and wood density produces fast carbon sequestration rates. No harvesting.

Continuous cover forests

Small-scale felling from age 20 onwards. Multiple log types depending on growth rates/age at harvest; on-site portable sawmilling; nectar and honey for beekeeping, soil stabilisation, carbon sequestration. Optimise multiple products with annual sales – timber, carbon, honey etc. Offers intergenerational management.