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Radiata, right tree, at this time

Radiata, right tree, at this time

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Radiata Pine will grow at about five times faster than native species. It grows almost anywhere, it’s easy to establish and manage and the underpinning science has a 70-year record. It is now about 95% of the commercial plantation estate that returns over $5bn in export earnings. As the climate warms and CO2 intensifies, radiata will grow faster.

ForestX consultant Graham West comments that “following the mantra “right tree, in the right place, for the right reason” many commentators and land use articles are exploring alternative tree species to fix all manner of environmental ills.

Beef & Lamb NZ are examining how many hectares of native trees and shelter belts are on farms in an attempt to become carbon neutral.

Iwi generally prefer to plant indigenous trees species to replace the ubiquitous pine and Air NZ encourages travellers to donate toward permanent native forests to sequester carbon.

All this seems to overlook that if we are to meet the Paris Agreement and address climate change, carbon needs to be removed from the atmosphere at a rate that requires the fastest wood production species we can possibly plant on most sites.

The mantra should be “Radiata, right tree, at this time”!”.

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