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New Zealand Farm Forestry Association
P.O. Box 10349
The Terrace

Wellington 6143


Farm Forestry Members Newsletter

   February 2017  No. 97
In this issue

Sites required for Scion cypress trials for 2017 and Douglas-fir trials for 2018

Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future (GCFF) Research Programme update

Good forest management decisions yield spectacular financial outcome


Dean Satchell
-Far North
-Mid North

Newsletter editor
Dean Satchell

National Office
Association Manager Glenn Tims
Phone: 04 4720432



Angus Gordon
-Taupo & Districts
-Middle Districts
-Hawkes Bay

Neil Cullen
-Mid Otago
-South Otago
-Sthn High Country (south)

Hamish Levack
-Gisborne East Coast

Patrick Milne

-West Coast
-Central Canterbury
-North Canterbury

Peter Berg

-Lower North

-Bay of Plenty

Don Wallace



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If you don't have a password or can't remember it, you can get one very easily. Just follow the instructions here.

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Branches still have opportunities to propose Notices of Motion and Agenda Items for meetings at conference.
Branch Management Meeting – where matters to do with the running of branches and the services provided by National Office to Branches can be discussed.
Council Meeting – where the Executive reports on its performance during the year, new policy is developed and recommendations are formulated for the AGM. Council is the governing body of the association and key link between the branches and the National Executive.
AGM – where the formal business of approving the financial statements and reports takes place.

Agenda Items and Notices of Motion must be received by National Office by 7 March. 


For more information on these events, they are posted on the NZFFA website >>
Branch secretaries, please make sure you notify head office of any branch or action group events.

  • Bay of Plenty branch field day
    Gabrielle & Andy Walton’s New House Build
    Where: 63 Asher Road, off Welcome Bay Road, Tauranga.
    When: Friday 10th March 3 – 6pm 
    The Walton’s invite you to visit their house building project at Asher Road.
    The building is timber throughout, predominantly supplied from Summerhill Farm & other NZ farm forests.
    Species being used; Eucalyptus regnans (framing, cladding & floors), NZ grown Redwood (joinery), Eucalyptus saligna (decks & sills), Cypress (rafters & laminated beams), Tasmanian Blackwood flooring (sorry this won’t be down!), and Poplar (cladding).
    There will be an opportunity to speak with the builders.
    The afternoon will finish up with a drink, nibbles and opportunity to discuss future field-days & Farm Forestry matters including our AGM.
  • NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards Gala Event
    When: Thursday 9th March 5.30pm - 11.00 pm
    Where: The Pullman Hotel Auckland
    Winners announced at the Gala Event
    Award Categories include NZFFA's very own "NZ Specialty Timber Award"
  • 2017 GCFF conference and field trip: Productivity challenges and opportunities in Southern forests, 28-30 March 2017, Otago Museum, Dunedin
    The three day “Growing confidence in forestry’s future” conference is focused on the challenges and opportunities in Southern forests. 
  • NZFFA Conference 2017 "The Challenge of Diverse Landforms"
    Conference 2017 will be held at Feilding, Manawatu, Thursday 6th April - Sunday 9th April 2017.
  • Durable eucalypts on drylands: Protecting and enhancing valueWorkshop 19th - 20th April 2017, Marlborough Research Centre, Blenheim. NZ Drylands Forestry Initiative

NZFFA Middle Districts Conference

6-9 April 2017, Feilding.  (Additional Whanganui Day 10 April)

Accommodation  You need to book accommodation early to secure accommodation in Feilding.   There is plenty of accommodation outside of Feilding but your conference days will be longer.   Contact i-site Travel Specialist Rachel Lamb, phone 06 350 1922, email

Registration  The Early Registration Discount applies up to 28 February 2017.  If you have any questions about registration, contact Registrar Jane Priest, phone 06 328 9852 or email

"The first article about the Conference was in your November2016 Tree Grower magazine, and a further article and Registration Form will be in your February 2017 issue.  There is also information on the Conference web page and you can register there online



Forests take little from the soil
Wink Sutton's Blog

NZFFA members can set up their own blogs on the NZFFA website. Email Dean.



Timber Harvesting in New Zealand: A guide for Small Scale Forest Landowners

This information resource has been produced by NZFFA with growers levy funding and is the first in a series of web-based information pages to be produced for growers. more>>

Reports (Members Area)

Executive minutes November 2016

Environment committee 28 February 2017

Scion cypress trials for 2017 and Douglas fir trials for 2018

Scion has plants growing in the nursery which are funded by the Specialty Wood Products programme for two cypress trials that will need sites for winter 2017.

Scion also has plants growing in the nursery for a Douglas-fir progeny trial (funded by the SWP)  that will need sites for winter 2018.

Details of the site requirements for each species are below:

One is a third generation Cupressus lusitanica progeny trial, raised from seed collected from selections made following an assessment of both sites of the 2006 progeny trial in 2016. There are 130 families and one control seedlot from the Amberley C. lusitanica seed orchard. The seed was germinated in seed trays and pricked out into v90 containers and germination was very good. The trial will need about four hectares of land (if planted at 1111 stems per hectare) and there are enough plants for three sites.

The second trial is a clonal trial of 180 cypress hybrid clones. Thirty of these clones were planted into the 2014 block plantings at Paparoa and 12 of the 30 have been released to tree nurseries for commercial propagation. The other 150 clones are from 20 hybrid combinations planted out in Kaingaroa in 2015. Some of these hybrid families have the same parents as the clones planted at Paparoa, but most are new hybrid combinations. An assessment of rooting percentage was made in September 2016 and some clones had a high percentage at this early stage. A filenote was written detailing the clones and percentage rooting in September 2016. The trial will need about two hectares of land and there should be enough plants for three sites.

Seed was sown for 166 families and two control seedlots of Douglas-fir. The parents of the families were selected as outstanding individuals in provenance and progeny trials and are all represented as grafts in seed orchards and archives. The seed was sown into seed trays in 2016 and plants have been pricked out into containers. Only three families have yet to germinate. The trial will need about 5 hectares if planted at 1111 spha or just over 3 hectares if planted at 1666 spha. There should be enough plants to plant three sites: One North Island site, one relatively sheltered South Island site and one exposed South Island site. A filenote was written for SWP with details of the families whose seed was sown.

Charlie Low

Growing Confidence in Forestry's Future (GCFF) Research Programme update

Scion has recently released a series of short videos to provide forest owners with practical guidelines for effective and reliable soil sampling to help support improved forest performance.

It is well known that soil properties have a huge impact on the health and productivity of our forests, but very few people feel confident in their ability to collect soil samples that can be used to help improve the performance of their trees. To help remedy this situation, Scion has produced and released two short videos that illustrate simple and effective techniques to identify how to prepare the soil surface for sampling and the methods and equipment needed to reliably collect soil cores suitable for nutritional analysis. A third video that outlines the processes needed to determine the bulk density of soil, which is critical to understanding total nutrient stocks, has also been produced. These videos are freely available for anyone to view at the website listed below, and are accompanied by information sheets that provide additional information for anyone interested in improving their knowledge of their soil properties. If you have any additional questions about soil sampling in forests, please contact

Good forest management decisions yield spectacular financial outcome

Farm Forester Kevin Thomsen knew the value of combining his sound knowledge of growing Radiata pine with knowledge of the growth potential of his farm in Hawke's Bay (site, soils, climate). Kevin likes to keep the stocking of his forest high enough to suppress branching, reduce taper and to maximise tree height growth. He also prefers to plant at around 1,000 stems per hectare so there is plenty of choice to select the best trees at thinning time – the ones whose genetics work particularly well on his site. Kevin also understood that total recoverable (wood) volume was maximised by maintaining a relatively high final crop stocking.

The Willows block was established in 1991. It has some significant dry, infertile faces and some swampy areas. This block was planted at only 625 stems per hectare (now considered too low by Kevin – he would now start at 1,000). Silviculture was applied in a timely manner by the family but wind damage and some poorly performing trees lead to a final pruned crop stocking of 300-360 stems per hectare (again lower than Kevin’s ideal targets).

The Mistletoe block was established in 1992. It had some steep and swampy areas too. The initial stocking was 1,000 stems per hectare and timely silviculture resulted in a high-pruned stand at about 350 stems per hectare at maturity.

PF Olsen managed the harvesting of Kevin’s two forestry blocks in late 2016.

Despite the two forestry blocks having some short-comings, the harvesting results far exceeded expectations for 24 and 25 year old trees. Key statistics averaged across the two blocks (both Radiata pine) are:

Per hectare log yield of 875 tonnes over 8.6 hectares.

  • Net income (stumpage) of $528,297
  • Net income (stumpage) per hectare $61,430
  • Net income (stumpage) per hectare per year of $2,507
  • Net income (stumpage) per tonne of $67.63

Not a bad return for relatively small forestry blocks on parts of the farm not that well suited to other land uses!

Kevin also kindly makes a point of acknowledging PF Olsen for its role in the harvesting project:

“A lot of credit for such a successful result and stress-free harvesting goes to Chris Perry of the Napier office of PF Olsen Ltd for his excellent management of all aspects of harvesting, including the contracting of a high performing harvesting crew who have done an excellent job in felling, log-making and loading out."

“Chris is supported by a specialised marketing division based in Rotorua who have access to a number of competing overseas buyers for our logs. All the pruned clearwood went to local sawmills."

“One attractive aspect of PF Olsen's service is the offer of a Payment Protection insurance, which for a low cost premium offers a great 'peace of mind'.”

From PF Olsen's Wood Matters February 2017


Disclaimer: Personal views expressed in this newsletter are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.