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Low risk species for South Island high country

By Nick Ledgard, January 2017.

Potential high country introduced plantation/shelterbelt species with a low spread risk.
Species Deciduous Conifer/ hardwood Size * Fast/ slow growing Primary shelter** Wind tolerant Dry soil tolerant Good/ Moist soils *** Comments
(for best advice see your local nursery person)
Abies spp (trye firs) N Conifer Tall Med Best soils only     + Reliable spp – Abies concolor, A. grandis, A. magnifica, A. spectabilis
Betula spp
Y Hardwood Sm Fast   + +   Reliable spp - B. populifolia, B. pendula/ verrucosa, B. papyrifera. Autumn colours Can spread locally.
Carpinus betulus
Y Hardwood Med Slow       + Autumn colours
Castanea sativa
Sweet chestnut
Y Hardwood Med Slow       + Good drainage only. Edible nuts
Cedrus deodara and C. atlantica
Deodar and Atlantic cedar
N Conifer Med Med + + +?   Deodar - attractive, semi-drooping branches Atlantica - more rigid habit
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Lawsons cypress
N Conifer Tall Med Better soils +   + Woodlot potential. Dense green drooping foliage - sheds snow. Can spread locally.
Cupressocyparis leylandii
Leyland cypress
N Conifer Med Fast + + +   Woodlot potential. Dense green foliage Best clones - Ferndown, Stapehill
Eucalyptus spp. N Hardwood Med Fast   + +?   Can be intolerant of extreme winter cold. Open foliage. Reliable spp - E. pauciflora, E. coccifera, E. johnstonii, E. stellulata
Fagus sylvatica var. purpurea
Purple beech
Y Hardwood Med Slow       + Attractive, autumn colours. Appears hardier than green variety
Juglans regia
English walnut
  Hardwood Med Slow       + Good drainage essential. Edible nuts.
Juniperus spp
Y Conifer Sm/ Shrub Slow   + +   Small, almost shrubby tree. Reliable spp - J. chinensis, J. communis, J. wallichiana
Picea spp
N Conifer Tall Med Better soils +   + Woodlot potential, but risk of aphid defoliation. Reliable spp - Picea abies, P. engelmanii, P. pungens, P. sitchensis
Pinus spp
(See below for least spread-prone species)
N Conifer Med/ Tall Usually fast Mostly Mostly Mostly A few species The genus with most woodlot potential, but also the greatest spread potential
Radiata - limited spread on warmer sites.
P. attenuata x radiata
Hybrid knob-cone x radiata
N Conifer Tall Fast + + +   'New' hybrid, hardier than radiata. Woodlot/shelter potential
Pinus coulteri
Big cone pine
N Conifer Med Med + + +   Attractive large cones
P. ponderosa
ponderosa pine
N Conifer Tall Fast + + +   Woodlot potential. Can spread, but usually not far (heavy seed, palatable seedling)
5-needle pines N Conifer Med/ Tall Med +     + Reliable spp - Pinus wallichiana, P. flexilis, P. strobus
Populus 'lombardy'
Lombardy poplar
Y Hardwood Tall Fast + +   + Autumn colours. Historical favourite for moister sites
Populus tremula
Trembling poplar
Y Hardwood Med Fast       + Autumn colours. Will sucker locally.
Quercus spp
Y Hardwood Med Med       + Autumn colours. Range of spp. Q. palustris (not for open sites), Q. coccinea.
Sequoiadendron gigantea
Sierra redwood or Wellingtonia
N Conifer Tall Med + + + + Woodlot potential. Large and majestic. Can spread locally.
Thuja plicata
Western red cedar
N Conifer Tall Med +     + Woodlot potential. Dense green foliage
Ulmus parvifolia
Chinese elm
Y Hardwood Sm Slow   +? +?   Small-leaved elm. Autumn colours.

+      Provides an indicative (rather than definitive) description of species tolerance or preference    
*    Size:   Tall – 20m+; medium 10-20m; small 5-10m; shrub <5m; tussock like
**    Primary shelter:   First choice, tough, year-round resilience, very tolerant to wind, drought, foliage to ground level
***    Good /moist soil:  Only performs well in dry hc climates where soils are moist (but well drained) or have good water holding capacity               


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