The picture of New Zealand’s forest has changed over the last generations. Native forests and farm land have been replaced by fast growing Radiata Pine monocultures. These often shape large parts of the country.
If you take a closer look at these forests you will notice that it looks quite different to your expectation of a forest. The undergrowth is almost not existent and very few animals can make these forests to their habitat. But on the other side this type of forest has many advantages. It grows incredibly fast and therefore stabilizes the soil quickly and binding a lot of carbon from the air.
From an economic point of view, this type of forest can be very profitable. However risk still remains around this kind of forestry system. Diseases, natural risks as fire, storms, land-slides and of course a highly volatile world-market for timber-products.
To counter such risks and coming back to a more sustainable forest-system we see an alternative in growing “native trees”. This can be the basis for a “selective cutting” system for the timber-harvest, with using the natural regrowth for the following tree-generation. It can help reducing severe erosion problems and of course suppresses fire-risks.
Another highly important aspect of a native tree forest is that the final products are mainly focusing the domestic market. So the high risk of the volatile price for commodity-timber can be neglected.
Through our own tree-nursery we can produce enough seedlings of good genetic quality for our own planting-programs and offers us the opportunity to generate additional income from sales to third-parties. We are working toward 40,000 native seedlings been grown in our nursery over the next 3 years.
The seeds come from local trees in the valley, as they are perfectly adapted to the local conditions. In the beginning we plan to grow Rimu, Silver pine, Kahikatea, Tawa and Totara. These tree species are ready for harvesting in about 50-70 years. A long time, but the value is always there. These will then be planted back into the land on steeper contour farmland we plan to retire and plant back into native bush.