Official website of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association

Indigenous Species

Information leaflets

  • Establishing native hardwood trees for timber
    NZFFA Information leaflet No. 24 (2005). There is in New Zealand a constant demand for high quality wood products made from native species, including hardwoods, principally for joinery, furniture and the…
  • Natives for Timber or Amenity
    Nothing can be more rewarding for a forester than creating and nurturing a native plantation from 10 years on their size, growth rate, form and rapid maturation looks and feels…
  • Growing NZ Beech for timber
    New Zealand has five native beech species, commonly known as red, black, silver, mountain and hard beech, each with a different natural geographic distribution. Of the five, red beech (Fusca fuscospora)…
  • Growing totara for timber
    Totara (Podocarpus totara) is one of New Zealand’s most easily grown native species. It has an extensive natural range and tolerates a wide variety of sites. It readily regenerates from…



  • Report: Trees for steep slopes - kauri
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    Kauri (Agathis australis) has long been regarded as the Lord of the Forest, the dominant tree species of the natural rainforest in northern New Zealand, with diameters of 6 m…
  • Report: Trees for steep slopes - Southern beech
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    A number of Southern beech species are indigenous to New Zealand. These are all evergreen broadleaved hardwoods and include silver beech, red beech, hard beech, black beech and mountain beech. Leaf shape…
  • Report: Trees for steep slopes - totara
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    Totara is a native conifer and member of the podocarp family, with two species growing into large trees, Podocarpus totara and P. hallii. These species naturally hybridise (Bergin, 2003), with P. hallii being predominant in…
  • Report: Trees for steep slopes - manuka
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    Mānuka is not a plantation forestry species for timber, but there is considerable interest in plantations for producing honey. There has been international acceptance of the medicinal properties of mānuka honey,…
  • Report: Pathways to Building Code compliance for farm-totara timber
    Dean Satchell, June 2016 (Access: unrestricted)
    Potential markets for farm-totara timber would be significantly improved by providing compliance pathways under New Zealand’s performance-based Building Code. A range of products and applications hold the promise of market…


Kauri calculator


Tree Grower articles

  • Selective harvesting our indigenous forests
    Wink Sutton, November 2017
    Indigenous forests are living ecosystems. In untended indigenous forests the total standing volume usually only varies by a small amount. Although old trees die, fall over and rot on the…
  • West Melton bush block
    Peter Gatehouse, August 2015
    The open Canterbury Plain is not the easiest site to create a new native forest. Strong cold easterlies, desiccating north-westerlies, frost and periodic snow are major factors for survival. In…
  • Management of kauri dieback
    Nick Waipara, May 2013
    Our kauri is under threat from an emerging disease commonly referred to as kauri dieback. It has already killed thousands of kauri trees and will spread further unless all forest…
  • Expanding economic viability of sustainably managed indigenous beech forests and industry
    Dean Satchell, February 2012
    The workshop late in 2011 held by the School of Forestry at Canterbury University brought together stakeholders from around the country to discuss issues around this emerging industry. The workshop…
  • Survey of existing uses and market potential of naturally regenerated farm totara
    Paul Quinlan and David Bergin, February 2012
    The Northland Totara Working Group has completed a survey on the uses and market potential of naturally regenerated farm totara timber. The results are very encouraging. There was clear support…
  • Salvaging beech thinning trials – a national heritage
    Tomás Easdale, February 2012
    An important goal of forestry is to increase tree growth and improve timber yield or its quality on a sustainable basis. Controlling tree density within forest stands by thinning is…
  • Sustainable indigenous forest management Where are we in 2012?
    Alan Griffiths and Karlene Hill, February 2012
    What has been happening on the indigenous forestry front in recent times? This article looks at trends in indigenous forest management and timber production, discusses some recent initiatives and highlights…
  • Promoting indigenous forest recovery Carbon and the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative
    Ollie Belton, February 2012
    Over the past few years there has been a lot of publicity about the opportunity to make money by growing trees for carbon sequestration. New Zealand is a pioneer in…
  • A planted indigenous forestry project
    Harley and Margaret Gray, February 2012
    In the November 2005 issue of Tree Grower we wrote an article entitled ‘Starting from scratch’ which described the early stages of our small forestry project on Kaipara South Head. This is…
  • Lindsay and Dixon’s beech harvesting operation
    Ian Campbell, May 2010
    The day started well with an address to the conference at breakfast time from Bernie Lagan, co-owner of Lindsay and Dixon. Bernie outlined to us the type of operation we…
  • Totara – a growing resource
    Dave Cown, David Bergin and Paul Quinlan, November 2009
    Totara is widely distributed throughout New Zealand, from sea level to over 500 metres, on well drained flood plains and drought prone hills, and on clay to volcanic soils. Totara…
  • Nursery specifications for natives
    Miles Giller, May 2009
    Many landowners wish to promote the regeneration of native plants, for a whole variety of reasons. In an ideal world such regeneration would take place by natural processes. However there…
  • Indigenous shelter planting
    Bruce Winter, February 2009
    Our sheep farm of 196 hectares at Spar Bush, Invercargill is an amalgamation of several smaller farms. We ended up with several old homesteads which had macrocarpa planted around them.…
  • Indigenous forestry options for trading in carbon credits
    Warwick Silvester, February 2009
    The Kyoto protocol requires us to control or mitigate our carbon emissions. Trees as major carbon sinks are seen as one of the best ways to implement this. Four schemes…
  • Continuous Cover Forestry: A Handbook for the Management of New Zealand Forests by Ian Barton
    Review by Allan Levett, November 2008
    This is a timely book. Continuous cover forestry is suited to slower growing high value species. Increasing oil costs threaten export values for pine timber and call for alternatives that…
  • Weeds in indigenous forests
    Melissa Brignall-Theyer, Sarah Richardson and Susan Wiser, May 2008
    The most challenging weeds for managed indigenous forests are those that can disperse into harvested areas, prevent regeneration of native tree species or persist as potential competitors to adult native…
  • Totara – Northland’s farm forests of the future
    Helen Moodie, Paul Quinlan, David Bergin and Chris Kennedy, November 2007
    Introducing the vision, activities, objectives and profile of the Northland Totara Working Group. It may be hard for people outside Northland to imagine, but totara are so vigorous and abundant…
  • Continuous cover forestry: Management practice
    Ian Barton, May 2006
    This is the second and final part of the article on continuous cover forestry. The first part was published in the November 2005 issue of the Tree Grower. Establishing the…
  • Information sources on native tree species
    David Bergin, November 2005
    There is a large number of publications and information sources for those wanting to establish native plants, or for those embarking on management of their patch of native forest. Ensis,…
  • The new look Indigenous Forest Section
    Mike Halliday and John Wardle, November 2005
    The Indigenous Forest Section of the NZFFA was formed in August 1995, partly in response to the passing of the Forest Amendment Act 1993 and the effect this had on…
  • Continuous cover forestry - an introduction
    Ian Barton, November 2005
    This article covers the basic principles of continuous cover forestry. The second part, due to be published in the February Tree Grower, will deal with establishment, silviculture and harvesting. Continuous…
  • Black beech management
    John Wardle, November 2005
    Rosalie and I purchased a property near Oxford in the Canterbury foothills in 1973. This property had about 84 hectares of black beech regrowth, mostly dating from the 1930s, which…
  • GIS and indigenous forest management
    Roger May, February 2005
    A geographical information system (GIS) is a computerised mapping system which can be used for map production, operational planning, spatial analysis and record-keeping. The advantages of GIS The use of…


Other sources of information

  • Wardle’s Native Trees of New Zealand
    Wardle, J., & Platt, I. p. (2011). Wellington: Bateson Publishing. 
    A comprehensive and accessible guide with over 300 colour photographs. Each tree species is described and illustrated, and the botanical and ecological details are supplemented with information about their uses. Order your copy »
  • Bush Vitality Assessment
    Janssen, H. (2006). Bush Vitality Assessment (revised edition). New Zealand: Helmut Janssen.
    A visual assessment kit for native bush, especially small remnant areas. Also has information on establishing new forest, the use of exotics, and erosion control.
  • Expanding economic viability for sustainably managed indigenous beech forests
    Donnelly, R. H. (2011). Expanding Economic Viability for Sustainably Managed Indigenous Beech Forests. Christchurch: NZ School of Forestry.
    Comprehensive report focusing on markets and the market potential for indigenous beech. SFF project 05/048, co-funded by University of Canterbury, NZFFA, Maori Trustee.
  • Indigenous forestry: Sustainable Management 
    NZ Ministry of Forestry, & NZ Farm Forestry Association. (1998). Indigenous Forestry: Sustainable Management. Wellington, NZ: NZ Ministry of Forestry.
    Handbook, general guide to principles and practice of indigenous forestry; focus on management of existing forest. Covers all aspects (but now being superceded by Tane’s Tree Trust publications).
  • Farming with Native Trees: A guide for farmers from Northland to Waikato.
    NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 5
    Mike Dodd and Helen Ritchie (eds)
    Practical advice plus a range of case studies from the northern North Island but relevant to other areas.
  • Kauri: ecology, establishment, growth and management.
    NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 2 
    David Bergin and Greg Steward 
    Accessible, practical information produced in full colour. Best current information on all aspects of growing and utilising kauri
  • Native forest restoration: A practical guide for landowners
    Porteous, T. (1993). Native Forest Restoration: A practical guide for landowners. Welliington, NZ: Queen ELizabeth the Second National Trust.
    Very useful practical handbook. Mostly covers environmental restoration but much detail on propagation, site preparation, planting and maintenance.
  • Native Trees: Planting and early management for wood production, NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 3
    Bergin, D., & Gea, L. (2005) New Zealand Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 3 (pp. 44). Rotorua: NZ Forest Research Institute.
    Accessible, practical information produced in full colour. Best current information on all aspects of growing and utilising most important native species.
  • New Zealand’s Native Trees
    Dawson, J., & Lucas, R. (2012). New Zealand's Native Trees. New Zealand: Craig Potton Publishing.
    Award-winning book: comprehensive coverage and botanical photos of all NZ’s native species.
  • Plant Materials Handbook for Soil Conservation, Vol. 3: Native Plants
    Hathaway R.L. (1986) Vol 3: Native Plants. Wellington: National Soil and Water Conservation Authority. 
    Using native plants for soil conservation.
  • Pohutukawa: ecology, establishment, growth and management, NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 4
    Bergin, D., & Hosking, G. (2006) Pohutakawa: Ecology, establishment, growth and management. New Zealand Indigenous Tree Bulletin Series No. 4 (pp. 104). Rotorua: NZ Forest Research Institute.
    Accessible, practical information produced in full colour. More on conservation / ecological values than other bulletins in this series but does have details of timber use, growth and forestry potential.
  • Sherry river native plant establishment: ‘Best bet’ guidelines.
    Nick Ledgard and David Henley, 2009. Scion, PO Box 29237, Fendalton, Christchurch
    A practical, well-illustrated 8-page guide designed specifically for inland northern South Island – but basic principles would apply to most sites.
  • Planting and Managing Native Trees: Tane’s Tree Trust Technical Handbook
    2011, Tane’s Tree Trust.
    Comprehensive set of full-colour notes covering various aspects of indigenous forestry. Focus on establishment of new plantations. Regularly updated and added to.
  • The Native Trees of New Zealand 
    Salmon, J. T. (1986). The Native Treees of New Zealand: Reed Methuen.
    Botanical emphasis
  • The New Zealand Beeches: Ecology, utilisation and management
    Wardle, J. (1984). Wellington: NZ Forest Service.
    Slightly out of date on management aspects but excellent for ecology of the beeches.
  • The New Zealand beeches: establishment, growth and management, NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 6
    Smale, S., Bergin, D., & Steward, G. (2012). New Zealand Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 6 (pp. 64). Rotorua: NZ Forest Research Institute. 
    Full colour handbook covering all NZ’s beech species. Incudes management of natural stands and some information on establishing new plantations. Best available information on all aspects of growing and utilising the beech species.
  • Totara: establishment, growth and management NZ Indigenous Tree Bulletin No.1
    Bergin, D. (2003). New Zealand Indigenous Tree Bulletin No. 1 (pp. 40). Rotorua: NZ Forest Research Institute.
    Full colour handbook: practical advice on growing and managing totara in NZ.
  • Totara: Existing uses and market development opportunities for naturally regenerating totara timber
    Quinlan, P., & Northland Totara Working Group. (2011). NZ Landcare Trust. Sustainable Farming Fund. Northland Totara Working Group.
    Comprehensive report with practical information about harvesting, processing and marketing totara. Northland focus but relevant elsewhere. SFF project (L10/145).
  • Alternatives to heart kauri for boat-building: Bending properties of planks of clear and finger-jointed radiata pine and second-growth kauri
    FRI Bulletin No. 27, Parker, J. R. (1983).
  • The Seasoning of New Zealand Beech Species
    Utilisation Development Division Report No. 14, R.K. Bagnall (1971).
  • The Air Drying of Beech in Westland and Nelson
    Utilisation Development Division Report No. 9, NC Clifton (1968).
  • The Utilisation of Hard Beech (a) Sawing Studies at Three West Coast Sawmills
    Utilisation Development Division Report No. 54, JC Vaney, RK Bagnall, DR Page (1976).
  • The Utilisation of Hard Beech (b) Application of a four Stage Seasoning Schedule
    Utilisation Development Division Report No. 55, JC Vaney (1976).
  • The Utilisation of Hard Beech (c) Suitability for Manufactured Products
    Utilisation Development Division Report No. 56, JC Vaney, RK Bagnall, REJ Docking (1976).
  • Riccarton Bush: Putaringamotu
    Brian Molloy (ed) 1995
    Detailed description of managing a bush block, including excellent ecological history of Canterbury.
  • Standards and Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Indigenous Forests (3rd edition)
    NZ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). (2007). (3 ed.). Rotorua: Indigenous Forestry Unit, MAF Policy. (The framework for MAF (now MPI) sustainable forest management plans and permits).


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