Official website of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association


Members of the NZ Farm Forestry Association have been growing blackwood for many decades and have valuable experience to share. We recommend you join NZFFA and the AMIGO Group, get involved with your local NZFFA branch, and visit some local growers to learn more about growing blackwood for timber.


  • Growing Blackwoods - Video
    The video features the late Ian Nicholas discussing a series of 25-year-old blackwood regime trials, where different pruning, thinning, and final crop stocking regimes have been tested. The trials have…
  • Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon)
    NZFFA Information leaflet No. 20 (2005). From the first days of European colonisation the Australian blackwood has had a place among the world’s great decorative timbers. It’s natural range in Australia…

Blackwood Handbook

Best Practice with Farm Forestry Timber Species
No. 4: Blackwood Handbook: Best Practice with Farm Forestry Timber Species (Second edition, 2008)
Ian Nicholas
Introduction and Chapter 1: Species recognition, history and habitat
Chapter 2: Timber properties, market and resource
Chapter 3: Site requirements and land use
Chapter 4: Agroforestry
Chapter 5: Seed, genetics and clonal propogation
Chapter 6: Seedling production, establishment and nutrition
Chapter 7: Health
Chapter 8: Management options
Chapter 9: Growth, habitat and malformation
Chapter 10: Pruning and thinning
Chapter 11: Growth model, yields, suggested regime
Chapter 12: Economic analyses
Chapter 13: Utilisation
Chapter 14: Case studies
Chapter 15: Summary
Chapter 16: References, other information sources and glossary of terms 


Tree Grower articles

  • Blackwood – A Tasmanian perspective It could be good news for New Zealand
    Gordon Bradbury, November 2013
    Since writing about blackwood production in Tasmania for the Tree Grower back in August 2006 things have gone from bad to worse. The global financial crisis and two more forestry…
  • Collective marketing of Tasmanian blackwood?
    Wink Sutton, August 2013
    This year’s Farm Forestry AGM was held in the Lower North region. On one of the field day’s we visited Audrey Hay’s farm. While admiring a maturing stand of Tasmanian…
  • Award winning house has blackwood floor
    Ian Nicholas and Paul Millen, February 2012
    In November last year, a Marlborough Sounds house built by Glenroy Housing of Blenheim won the New Homes category $350,000 to $450,000 house of the year Registered Master Builders award.…
  • Collective blackwood marketing
    Malcolm Mackenzie, November 2013
    I am keen to respond to the excellent ‘From the Patron’ in the August Tree Grower and hopefully stimulate a wide-ranging discussion among fellow members. I agree with Wink Sutton…
  • Blackwood Milling
    Malcolm Mackenzie, November 2013
    I attempted to be a little more scientific when we did our third small milling of Tasmanian blackwood timber this year. I wanted to calculate the conversion of log volume…
  • Blackwoods and the nurse
    Ian Brown, August 2006
    Trees as people One of the risks in growing trees is a tendency to attribute human characteristics to them. This is the case when we employ the term nurse to…
  • Blackwood – the Westland experience
    Ross Jackson, August 2006
    Plantings of blackwood have been made in Westland since the mid 1960s. Initially they were undertaken as trial, enrichment or amenity plantings, much of which were carried out by FRI.…
  • Blackwood – An overview
    Ian Brown, August 2006
    I think it is fair to say that blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon, has had a mixed press among tree growers. Since it was promoted as a species worth special attention by…
  • Milling and grading New Zealand grown blackwood
    Mike Esson, August 2006
    Blackwood is a much sought after timber, especially by cabinet makers because of it rich dark colour and fine finish. Blackwood is a species that brings people to our yard…
  • Furniture from blackwood
    Graeme and Betty Benjamin, August 2006
    Customers visiting the Everwood Furniture showroom in Mount Maunganui love furniture made from blackwood timber according to Graeme Benjamin. Graeme and his wife Betty have owned Everwood Furniture for a…
  • Where blackwoods go wrong
    Ian Brown, February 2005
    The photograph at the bottom of the page is of a blackwood which we planted in 1980 in the Far North. At 24 years, its diameter is over 50 cm,…



  • Report: Trees for steep slopes - Blackwood
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    The extensive root system offered by blackwood deserves more attention in stabilising erodible hillsides (Brown, 2006a). Blackwood coppices and suckers freely and fixes nitrogen into the soil, so can be…



  • Blackwoods - selecting the best trees: Ian Brown's Blog, July 04, 2019
    In theory, there are two simple steps in tree improvement. Select a provenance that matches your site, and from it identify trees with superior traits to breed from. However in…
  • Notes on West coast blackwoods: Ian Brown's Blog, March 26, 2017
    On an evening in Southern Chile a few years back I was sitting at a long table in a German brewery with a group of New Zealand friends. We were…
  • Acacias in Chile: Ian Brown's Blog, September 26, 2015
    In 2012 a small group of us spent a week in Chile at the invitation of INFOR ( Institutio Forestal), the Chilean forest research institute. We were hosted by Juan-Carlos…
  • Shade Avoidance and Phase Change in Blackwoods: Ian Brown's Blog, March 12, 2014
    When blackwoods grow in natural forests, their form is enhanced by competition for light, but at the cost of slow growth compared to open grown trees. Companion planting is often…




Other sources of information


Farm Forestry - Headlines