Thursday, April 25, 2024

Scion shines spotlight on planting of non-pine exotics at Fieldays

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The ‘A New Zealand Guide to Growing Alternative Exotic Forest Species’ booklet outlines pathway to forestation beyond pines.
The booklet aimed at helping foresters consider alternatives to pines promises to be popular with farmers at this year’s Fieldays.
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Farmers keen on forestry but looking for options to Pinus radiata will have the chance to dive into their options with a book available on the Scion stand at this year’s Mystery Creek Fieldays.

A New Zealand Guide to Growing Alternative Exotic Forest Species has been funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries and created by Scion in partnership with Te uru Rākau, Forest Growers Research, NZ Dryland Forests and the NZ Farm Forestry Association.

Originally launched in late March, the 1000-copy first print has already been taken up, prompting Scion to use Mystery Creek as an opportunity to make more copies available from a second print run.

The book will help a new wave of growers, including those not  interested in planting or seeking alternatives to pine as a forest option.

The booklet outlines the commercially available exotic alternatives, describing the suitability and management conditions for each species.

Scion silverculture and forest carbon scientist Alan Jones said the book is aimed at both experienced and new growers seeking information on both a large commercial scale and smaller farm holding level.

The book will be available from Scion’s stand at the Forestry Hub, dedicated to timber and forestry production.

The forest and wood processing industry’s transformation plan released at last year’s Fieldays included the goal of increasing planting of non-pine species from about 10% to 20%. 

Benefits include increasing forest resilience and productivity, improving resilience to climate change and biological risk, and increasing the wider environmental benefits of forestry.

Jones said there is an obvious need in NZ to diversify forests because this improved resilience to climate change, pests and diseases results in diverse timber productions.

“The idea is to enable transformational change in industry and part of that is enabling cultural change. This enables that to take place by giving people the information or the roadmap they need to start thinking about other species.”

The New Zealand Guide to Growing Alternative Exotic Forest Species outlines:

• Commercially available exotic alternatives to radiata pine

• How suitable the species are for growers

• Management conditions for each species

• Potential for timber or biomass.

It’s designed to support both experienced growers who are looking to diversify the exotic timber species they are managing, and new growers who need information on the commercial species available for establishing plantations and woodlots.

There is also a downloadable copy of the booklet available on the MPI website here