SFF Project Summary

Project Title: Poplar nursery discussion group, quality production and development of a best practice guide
Grant No.: 05/144

Contact Details

Name of Applicant Group: Tairawhiti Poplar nursery group
Contact Person: Dennis Crone
Address: Gisborne District Council
PO Box 747
Telephone 1: 06 867 2049
Telephone 2:
Facsimile: 06 867 8334
Email: dennis@gdc.govt.nz

Project Details

Status: finished
SFF Funding: 27,014
Total Project Funding: 58,064
Proposed Start Date: 2005-07
Proposed Finish Date: 2008-06
Region: East Coast
Sector: Forestry
Sub-sector: Farm forestry
Topic: Farm production
Information transfer
Decision management and support

Last updated: 05 November 2008

Latest update

Conservation Quorum Magazine article [PDF 911KB]

Poplar Nursery Establishment and Management

Latest update

All milestones have been met apart from the sale of 10 percent of the poles resulting from the nurseries first 2 years of production. These sales will occur spring 2008 and 2009.

The final field day has been held.

Final print of the best practices booklet has been distributed to over 200 rural residents in Gisborne district.

Media article following field day in Gisborne Herald.


The final field day for the Poplar Nursery project will be held in April (tentative 30 April at Ngatapa). This will effectively complete all activities for this project. The 'Best Practices' guideline booklet has been published and distributed to 2500 rural residences in the Gisborne District. Further copies are available through Gisborne District Council.

The project has been a major influence in there now being more than 20 on-farm poplar nurseries in the region. A small number of small scale commercial nurseries have also been established.

Last years field day has resulted in a major turn-around in nursery performance. This is due to much more emphasis on weed control. Growth of nurseries is much improved and the whole standard of nurseries throughout the region is much better.


A well attended field day was held at Te Hau Station poplar nursery in April with over 50 people attending. Report on field day was posted to all attending and to landholders that are on the project database. Good press coverage was obtained in the local paper and in GDC's publication "Conservation Quorum". Draft best practice guide has been prepared and sent out to all landholders with nurseries. This "best practice" booklet will be refined over the next year. Preparations are being made to harvest and sell poplar stakes for funding the community contribution share of the project

Latest Update: March 2007

Ideal weather conditions have lead to good growth in all the project nurseries. Detailed growth measurements have been taken and recorded in the three demonstration nurseries. Our annual field will be held at Te Hau station Whatatutu commencing at 1.30 pm on Thursday 19 April. Planning and preparation for this event is underway. Peter Gawith, a farmer from Gladstone in the Wairarapa and chairman of the SFF funded project “ Managing poplars and willows on farms” has agreed to come up and be our guest speaker. Other topics covered will include; development of the TeHau nursery, dealing with land use rules and a summary of our projects achievements to date. Arrangements are being put in place to harvest and sell poplar stakes to raise funding for the project.

Update: October 2006

The project continues to make sound progress. We have now established 20 farm nurseries. Another 10 properties are likely to establish additional nurseries.

The next project field day will be held at Chris Mebans property at Whatatutu in May 2007. Further details will be in the next web update.

June 2006

The project continues to make sound progress.

A very successful field day attracting over 20 farmers was held in late April at Dan Hood’s property. This is one of our 3 demonstration areas. Interest in the project remains high with more landholders interested in commencing nurseries.

March 2006

The project continues to make good progress. In general growth in the nurseries around Gisborne has been excellent with the rainfall in January coming just in time.

Two nurseries in the Ruatoria area have not grown quite as well, it is suspected that gravels at a shallow depth under silts have caused the ground to dry out too much over summer.

A field day will be held at Dan Hoods property, Punawai Station Kanakanaia, Gisborne on the 27th April commencing at 1.30pm.