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New Zealand planted forest resource figures

Latest New Zealand planted forest resource figures released

A report recently published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry shows New Zealand's planted production forests covered 1.81 million hectares as at April 2002.

The National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) report shows the central North Island has 577,400 hectares of planted forests - 32 percent of the national forest area. The forests in the central North Island region are the country's most mature, currently producing more than half of New Zealand's wood supply.

Other regions with significant areas of maturing forest are located in Northland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, the southern North Island, Nelson and Marlborough, and Otago and Southland.

New Zealand's production forests are dominated by radiata pine, which makes up 1.62 million hectares, or 89 percent of the area.

About 67 percent of the radiata pine planted forest estate is, or is expected to be, pruned. The area of pruned radiata pine approaching harvestable age is increasing. Currently around one million hectares of the pruned radiata pine estate is 25 years old or younger.

Over the last three years the rate of new planting has declined below the long-term average rate. The area of new planting in 2001 was 30,100 hectares and it is provisionally estimated that 23,200 hectares were planted in 2002. The average new planting rate over the last 30 years has been 43,500 hectares per year. Between 1992 and 1998 New Zealand experienced high afforestation rates. During these six years planting rates averaged 69,000 hectares per year.

In addition to new planting, 35,800 hectares of harvested area was replanted in 2000, making total planting 69,100 hectares. The area of restocking is expected to continue to increase in line with forecast increases in future harvesting.

Full details on New Zealand's planted forests are available in A National Exotic Forest Description as at 1 April 2002, on www.maf.govt.nz/forestry.

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