Small Forests & Woodlots
A guide to conducting forest health assessments and sampling:
Small forests are a common sight throughout the countryside and even in more urban settings. The distribution and diversity of these plantations make them important indicator sites for new pests and diseases.
In addition to the main plantation species, a wide range of special purpose trees from both the northern and southern hemispheres are often used in small plantations. The potential for a new to New Zealand pest to establish in the 'small forest estate' is very much a possibility.
Owners of small plantations have a major role to play in identifying any new or serious pest issues as they are most familiar with what passes as 'healthy' for their particular forest or forests. In many instances these small forests may also be close to a 'high risk' site such as a port, airport or industry.
This guide uses representative tree health disorders found on key forestry species to help describe survey and sampling methods.
Forest health surveillance
The fundamentals of conducting a forest health inspection are the same regardless of the species making up the plantation or the size of the plantation. Survey intensity and methods used will greatly depend on the expertise of the surveyor. The key is to introduce a level of objectivity, while keeping the process simple.
For a comprehensive list of forest pests refer to the links above
If you suspect a new pest, call the MPI exotic pest and disease emergency hotline: 0800 80 99 66.