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Trees for Erosion Control/Soil Conservation

Tree Grower Articles

  • Telling better forestry stories (Access: NZFFA membership)
    Michelle Harnett, August 2021
    ‘I don’t like radiata’ – A King Country farmer who wants to plant more trees. ‘I do not want any trees on my farm’ − a South Island farmer. ‘Farmers…
  • Does plantation forestry still belong on highly erodible hill country? (Access: unrestricted)
    Eric Cairns, November 2018
    Flood damage, widespread landslides and wood debris flows emanating from plantation forestry have made national headlines twice this year. This commentary is possibly a little late, given that Cyclone Gita…
  • Do not let harvesting mishaps paint a false picture of forestry (Access: unrestricted)
    Nick Ledgard, August 2018
    I recently wrote an article for our branch newsletter about forests on the move. This focused on the so-called window of vulnerability, a period of about six years after a…
  • Were the recent North Island floods naturally occurring events? (Access: unrestricted)
    Wink Sutton, November 2015
    The recent North Island floods seem to be treated as if they were naturally occurring events. Concentrated heavy rain resulted in farm damage and flooding of low lying areas, such as…
  • Trees for protection – native or otherwise (Access: unrestricted)
    Jim Flack, May 2013
    In geological terms, New Zealand is a young country and still growing. Tectonic plates grind beneath us, pushing the land upwards, while our maritime weather systems try to wear it…
  • Hawke’s Bay 2011 weather bomb (Access: unrestricted)
    Marie Taylor, November 2012
    Coastal Hawke’s Bay is still suffering the effects of last years April storms. More than 600 mm of rain in only 48 hours in late April 2011 caused massive damage…
  • Savage storm shreds coastal Hawke’s Bay More trees would reduce future erosion problems (Access: unrestricted)
    Marie Taylor, August 2011
    The massive April storm which hit coastal Hawke’s Bay in April was a wake-up call. Garth Eyles, the Napier-based land management consultant, said that people were panicking about the damage…
  • Use of poplars and willows for erosion control (Access: unrestricted)
    Garth Eyles, November 2010
    If I had to choose the ideal tree for erosion control on a hill country sheep or beef unit it would need to − Grow in the presence of the…
  • Gullies supply most sediment to major East Coast river systems (Access: unrestricted)
    Mike Marden, August 2009
    It has long been suspected that gullies have been, and continue to be, the major source of sediment in each of the three major East Coast river systems − Waipaoa,…
  • Understanding the way trees reduce soil erosion (Access: unrestricted)
    Leith Knowles, February 2006
    New Zealand loses between 200 and 300 million tonnes of soil every year to the oceans – a rate about 10 times the world average. Erosion is fairly light to…
  • The battle to hold the hills (Access: unrestricted)
    Denis Hocking, February 2006
    Erosion is an inevitable feature of the New Zealand landscape. Well it certainly has been over the last 20 million years or so when New Zealand has been pushed up…
  • Trees combat erosion and protect stock (Access: unrestricted)
    Mike Halliday, May 2008
    Continuing our series of articles profiling the farm forestry model in action. We present here a case study showing another practical example of how trees can be integrated into the…



  • Report: Trees for steep slopes
    Dean Satchell, July 2018 (Access: unrestricted)
    In this page: National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) Erosion mitigation practices Economics Tree species and regimes The Joint NZ Farm Forestry Association/Forest Owners Association (NZFFA/FOA) Environment committee commissioned…


Forest practice guides

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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Erosion and Sediment Control Measures
Vegetation to Manage Erosion
Harvest Slash


Trees on Farms Videos

See also:




Other sources of information

  • Debris Flows (Scion publication August 2017)
    There are some 1.7 million hectares of planted forests in New Zealand, and about a third of these are on erodible steepland terrain. Many of these forests were originally planted as erosion control forests and are now being harvested. There is increasing concern and media attention about the environmental effects of steepland planted forestry. These centre on the post-harvest landscape response, including the increasing occurrence of woody debris in rivers and on beaches following intense rainstorms that generate landslides,and debris flows that entrain wood and sediment.
  • Soil Conservation: Technical Handbook
    (2001) Hicks, D & Anthony, T. (eds). 2001. Ministry for the Environment. Comprehensive collection of information about soil conservation in New Zealand.
    Covers the forms and processes of the main types of erosion and the main control techniques. 
  • Plant Materials Handbook for Soil Conservation: 
    • Van Kraayenoord, C. W. S., Pollock, K. M., & Hathaway, R. L. (1986) Plant Materials Handbook for Soil Conservation. Vol.1 Principles and Practice. National Soil and Water Conservation Authority.
    • Van Krayenoord C.W.S. (1986) Plant Materials Handbook for Soil Conservation: . Vol. 2 Introduced Plants. National Soil and Water Conservation Authority. 
    • Hathaway R.L. (1986) Plant Materials Handbook for Soil Conservation. Vol 3 Native Plants. National Soil and Water Conservation Authority. 
  • Introduced forest trees in New Zealand: Recognition, role, and seed source - The willows, Salix spp.
    Van Kraayenoord, C. W. S., Slui, B., & Knowles, F. B. (1995) FRI Bulletin No.124, part 15. Rotorua: NZ Forest Research Institute.
  • Erosion Control - Soil series videos
    Northland Regional Council
  • Trees suitable for soil conservation 
    Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Land Management series 
  • Sustainable Land Management Hill Country Erosion Programme
    Ministry for Primary Industries. The Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Hill Country Erosion Programme helps protect erosion-prone hill country. It provides leadership and targeted support to regional and unitary councils.
  • Environmental effects of planted forests in New Zealand: The implications of continued afforestation of pasture
    FRI Bulletin No. 198, Maclaren, J. P. (1996).


Farm Forestry - Headlines

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