Indigenous plantations - implications for wood quality

Authors: Greg Steward, Russell McKinley
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2019, Issue N.Z.J.For. 64(2) 2019, pp 42-45, Aug 2019
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: The New Zealand timber industry’s interest in indigenous species is contingent on identifying new resources for sustainable harvesting, as well as supply and wood quality criteria being met. Native tree plantings have been undertaken in New Zealand since at least the late 1800s. It is estimated there are a few thousand hectares of well-established single or mixed species plantings that could be considered plantations and where future timber recovery is an option. Kauri (Agathis australis (D.Don) Lindl.) and totara (Podocarpus totara (D.Don)) have been identified as significant components of these planting programmes. At the time of planting, rotation lengths were presumed to be extended (>150 to 200 years). Many of the stands have now reached a stage (age and stature) where some consideration could be given to their future role. Sixteen planted kauri and seven planted totara stands were assessed for whole-core and radial density patterns. Whole-core density averaged 449 kg/m3 for kauri and 443 kg/m3 for totara. Density for each species was generally similar between sites and was not affected by diameter, age or latitude. Both species displayed a flat radial density gradient, with a slight increase in density within 50 mm of the core. Density was comparable to that observed in natural second-growth stands of similar diameter and stature.