Research Priorities

Our  research and development strategy is to:

(i) produce genetically improved planting stock, and

(ii) provide robust information to growers on optimising the economic potential of ground-durable eucalypts on their land.


There is a need for product and market information, access to well-characterised superior genotypes, help with matching species to the right sites, predictions of forest growth and yield that include information about volumes of different products that might be grown on those sites, and reduced risk of failure due to clear guidelines for protection of crops from insects and diseases.  We now have distinct research streams in these areas, but they are also linked.

Key research themes and their links


The NZDFI Science Team

The New Zealand School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, is a foundation partner of the NZDFI. Staff at the School of Forestry form the core of the NZDFI Science Team. The Science Team leads the research undertaken by the NZDFI.

In March 2017, the team produced a new series of research plans. An introduction to the overall research programme is available, as are the individual theme research plans. 

NZDFI Research Programme Introduction March 2017


Theme Research leader Research plan 2017 onwards
Wood quality    Dr Clemens Altaner Wood Quality Research Plan
Tree breeding and genetics    Dr Luis Apiolaza Breeding Research Plan
Site x species interactions    Dr Justin Morgenroth Site_Species Matching Research Plan
Productivity and growth modelling    Prof Euan Mason Site_Species Matching Research Plan
Insect pests    Dr Steve Pawson Forest Health Research Plan

Also involved in our research:

  • Proseed  (Amberley, Canterbury) - developing innovative mass propagation techniques for eucalypts
  • Scion - Dr Dean Meason and colleagues are developing growth and productivity models for E globoidea
  • Murray's Nurseries (Woodville, Tararua) - hosting large-scale research plantings for wood quality testing.

The over-riding aim of our research is to give growers all the resources they need to grow ground-durable eucalypt forests successfully.