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Roads, Earthworks and Harvesting

Health and safety best practice guides


NZ Forest Road Engineering Manual

Road engineering manual

New Zealand Forest Road Engineering Manual (pdf, updated February 2020)

The mobile friendly web version of the Roading Manual (2020) can be opened here »

Operators Guide

The mobile friendly Operators Guide for the NZ Forest Road Engineering manual can be opened here »


Forest practice guides

See also:
A National Industry Standard for Sustainable Plantation Forest Management (2005). The New Zealand forest industry has developed a national industry standard for sustainable plantation forest management which it is expected will facilitate good forest management.

The Forest Practice Guides (2018) are to assist forest owners/managers and contractors to meet legislative requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and in particular the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). They do not replace or override any statutory requirement. For various forestry operations, the guides provide options and information on a range of practices and methods to manage effects of the operations on the environment.
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Earthworks Construction
Erosion and Sediment Control Measures
Vegetation to Manage Erosion
Harvest Slash


Articles and Reports

  • Harvesting Innovation Workshops
    G. West and J. Schrider, December 2019 (Access: unrestricted)
    From six workshops on harvesting innovation of small-scale forests, we have gained some very useful insights into recent developments. We have also updated a key group of levy stakeholders on…
  • Report: Small-scale Grower Harvest costs and returns
    Graham West, June 2019 (Access: unrestricted)
    A previous survey of small-scale forest owners (SSFO) interests (reported in May 2017 Tree Grower) clearly showed a strong interest for more information around the harvesting and marketing segment of…
  • Report: An alternative to clear-felling radiata pine
    Mark Bloomberg, Eric Cairns, Denny Du, Harriet Palmer and Chris Perry, February 2019 (Access: unrestricted)
    Background to the project Members of the project team all have a long-held interest in continuous cover forestry systems. In 2018 we obtained funding from the MPI Sustainable Farming Fund…
  • When to harvest - That's the million dollar question
    November 2017 (Access: unrestricted)
    Determining the best time to harvest your woodlot can often feel like gazing into a crystal ball. We all know that the wood market can be volatile and naturally we…
  • Are you harvest-ready?
    November 2017 (Access: unrestricted)
    Why being able to press go whenever you like is the smartest position to be in... If your forest is over 20 years old, you should be thinking about getting…
  • What is the best way to sell my forest?
    November 2017 (Access: unrestricted)
    There is a lot of debate about the best way for forest owners to sell their trees/wood. The reality is that more than 90% of such sales in New Zealand…
  • Forest Harvesting Engineering – making it work for you
    November 2017 (Access: unrestricted)
    Q1. I’ve got some gear – should I be building the roads and landings? Some forest owners like the idea of using their own gear, or friends or family to…
  • Timber Harvesting in New Zealand
    Rien Visser, NZ School of Forestry, December 2016 (Access: unrestricted)
    Plantation forests occupy about 7% of the NZ land area and forestry and logging employ about 7,000 people directly. About 50,000 ha., or 25 million m3, is harvested each year.…
  • Radiata harvesting
    Nick Kingsford, Northland Forest Managers, September 2014 (Access: unrestricted)
    Optimal time line to prepare for harvest: 2 years before harvest - begin the resource consent process (required if moving more than 5,000m3 of soil) 12-18 months before harvest -…


Tree Grower articles

  • Results of survey for small-scale forest harvesting
    Graham West, August 2019
    This project was aimed at improving the knowledge and investment experience of small-scale forest owners during the harvesting phase. The research used input from farm foresters and harvesting management consultants over…
  • A new phase of science innovation
    Russell Dale and Harriet Palmer, May 2019
    Contributing to a low-carbon future for New Zealand, boosting forest productivity and health, reducing environmental impacts and improving worker skills and safety, are all behind a new science innovation strategy…
  • Can target diameter harvesting work in radiata pine plantations in the lower North Island?
    Mark Bloomberg, Eric Cairns, Denny Du, Harriet Palmer and Chris Perry, February 2019
    In March 2018 a team of continuous cover forestry enthusiasts embarked on a feasibility study. It was funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund and was to investigate the potential for…
  • New automatic coupler will cut harvesting costs for owners of small forests
    Keith Raymond and Harriet Palmer, February 2019
    A new harvesting tool – the automatic quick coupler – is almost ready for commercial use. It has been developed as part of the Steepland Harvesting Programme, and is particularly…
  • Logging day demonstration
    Julian Bateson, February 2018
    On the last day of the conference was an extra field visit to Greenock Forest. This was a demonstration day about harvesting research work funded predominantly by the levy. Woody…
  • Evolution or revolution in harvesting?
    Keith Raymond, November 2017
    As many small-scale growers prepare to plan to harvest their forests and woodlots planted in the 1990s, there is a quiet revolution being planned in how harvesting these forests on…
  • Levy funded Transportation Committee
    John Robinson, November 2015
    The Transportation Committee has a work programme to complete on behalf of the wider levy paying community. This programme aims to represent the interests of all forest growers in matters…
  • The CutoverCam hauler
    Paul Milliken, November 2014
    The CutoverCam is a new hauler system which provides improved vision of the working area for the hauler operator. It helps to improve safety and increase productivity by giving the…
  • New harvesting technology for a safer future - Challenges of harvesting steep land
    Keith Raymond, November 2014
    The large areas of forest planted in the 1990s, now aged 15 to 21 years, are expected to reach harvesting age from 2018 onwards. As harvesting increasingly moves into these…
  • Harvesting a private woodlot
    Darrin Collett, May 2014
    This article focuses on harvesting and marketing a woodlot at Kaukapakapa, north of Auckland. During my 23 years of experience in forestry I have found that harvesting and marketing private…
  • After the harvest
    Graeme Flett, November 2013
    Congratulations. You have waited a long time for your harvest, but before you go off to spend the profits there are some things to consider. The first is what the…
  • Harvest surprise
    Malcolm Mackenzie, August 2013
    We have recently harvested a woodlot planted in 1989. The planting regime chosen was as a result of a Waitomo branch farm forestry branch trip to the Bay of Plenty…
  • A Wellington Regional Council perspective on harvesting
    Christina Schierlitz, February 2013
    Regional councils in New Zealand have a responsibility to look after the natural resources in their districts. This includes land, water, air, soil, minerals, energy, plants and animals. Harvesting trees…
  • What to do when that arrangement with your contractor turns sour
    John Schrider, February 2013
    All farm foresters reach a point in their tree growing when they must decide to cut all emotional ties they have with the woodlot they have carefully established and nurtured…
  • Harvesting mature macrocarpa – never judge a book by its cover
    Allan Laurie, February 2013
    This case study reviews a recent harvest project involving 17 mature macrocarpa trees harvested in south Canterbury. It is very much a story of being aware of what you are…
  • Time to harvest that woodlot?
    Jeremy Waldegrave, February 2013
    Harvesting a farm woodlot is often the finale to years of input and interest given to your block of trees. The planning, the harvesting and marketing of your woodlot is…
  • Once in a lifetime harvest of your woodlot
    Matt Hanna, November 2012
    Forestry is a long-term crop that gives forest owners the luxury of timing the harvest. However unlike most other crops, once the harvest is complete there is no next season,…
  • Preparation for harvesting
    Ken Stephens, November 2012
    Quite a few years ago I was asked by a farm forester what the most important thing was when selling a woodlot. That really had me thinking for a while,…
  • Increase profitability of harvesting - small-scale forests on steep terrain
    Keith Raymond, November 2012
    There are many challenges facing the forest industry due to decisions taken in the past. In the 1980s and 1990s the plantation forests in New Zealand increased significantly. Many areas…
  • My trees have grown up – what should I do?
    Peter Gresham, November 2012
    This article is aimed at foresters who are contemplating managing their own harvesting and marketing. It is not advice about how to proceed or when to sell, rather it is…
  • Harvesting radiata pine at Tinui
    Harriet Palmer, November 2011
    In April 2011 we harvested a 1.5 hectare block of 1985 radiata pine. The block was planted by previous owners of the land under guidance of Wellington Regional Council, and…
  • Harvesting rules in the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry
    Elizabeth Heeg, November 2017
    This article provides an overview of harvesting activities in the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry. It is not intended to be used as guidance or as a replacement for…
  • Evolution or revolution in harvesting?
    Keith Raymond, November 2017
    As many small-scale growers prepare to plan to harvest their forests and woodlots planted in the 1990s, there is a quiet revolution being planned in how harvesting these forests on…
  • Continuous cover forestry
    Ian Barton, May 2009
    Continuous cover forestry is the management of forests using ecological principles which are patterned on natural processes so that the forest canopy is always maintained at one or more levels…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Log value recovery in a woodlot context
    Andy Dick, May 2005
    Commercial forest owners and forestry research organisations have over the years attempted to maximise returns by developing tools, processes and disciplines called log value recovery. If you have a good…



  • Steepland harvesting in Northland: Dean Satchell's blog, June 26, 2018
    Innovation always interests me. Some innovations become lost to time while others become the next step in evolution and lead to greater things. Often they are just a minor tweak to the…
  • Selective harvesting our indigenous forests: Wink Sutton's Blog, November 19, 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…
  • Introduction to Continuous Cover Forestry: Eric Cairn's Blog, April 25, 2016
    Introduction The Wellington branch intends to run a series of articles and field days on Continuous Cover Forestry. Government policies, particularly in regard to Permanent Forest Sink Initiatives and in…
  • Not all doom and gloom for alternative species: John Fairweather's blog, December 23, 2015
    The last issues of the North Canterbury branch newsletter covered some interesting issues associated with growing and harvesting alternative species. Two points stuck out to me. One was that there…
  • Bare Hill's Hauler logging: John Purey-Cust Ponders, August 13, 2014
    A little while ago I went on a field trip to look at a logging operation at Bare Hill, a high and miserable pine plantation on the top of the…




Other sources of information


Farm Forestry - Headlines

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