SFF Project Summary

Project Title: A pilot inventory of elite native timber trees as seed-sources for native afforestation silviculture from lowland environmental domains.
Grant No.: L06/047

Contact Details

Name of Applicant Group: Native Afforestation Silviculture Group
Contact Person: Helmut Janssen
Address: Adaptive Resource Management Ltd
Manuka Farm
74 Harvey road
Marahau RD 2
Telephone 1: 03 527 8585
Telephone 2:
Email: resourceinfo.mgmt@gmail.com

Project Details

Status: finished
SFF Funding: 20,000
Total Project Funding: 53,886
Proposed Start Date: 2006-06
Proposed Finish Date: 2007-12
Region: North Island
Sector: Forestry
Sub-sector: Farm forestry
Topic: Biodiversity

Latest Update
30 July 2007

The project's final report has been published on http://www.bushvitality.org.nz/SFF0647Home.html. Alternatively follow the links http://www.bushvitality.org.nz/growing_common_future.htm under heading "Indigenous Afforestation" and this projects' title, or find the project via http://www.bushvitality.org.nz/Strand2.html

Pilot inventory of elite native timber-trees as seed-sources for native afforestation silviculture from lowland environmental domains

  "Bush Vitality Assessment, Growing Common Futures"
is an essential tool for people, dedicated to sustainable land
management and ready to revitalise native bush to maintain
its unique biodiversity.


Native afforestation silviculture addresses the four well-beings of sustainable development (environmental and economic, cultural and social). Consequently there is substantial interest in its development and implementation. A prerequisite to building native afforestation silviculture capacity is developing robust information about appropriate seed-sources.

This pilot seed-sourcing inventory project will record the best of the remaining native timber-trees for commercial native afforestation projects in a lowland environmental domain.

Outcomes of this pilot project include:

  1. Development of a generic and robust rapid-assessment method to identify elite native timber-tree seed-sources.
  2. Delivering the pilot inventory’s information to stakeholders.
  3. Scoping the resource requirements to extend an elite native timber-tree seed-sourcing inventory project across all of New Zealand’s lowland and fertile hill-country environments.
  4.  Preparation of a brief pilot-inventory report, presenting resource requirements and recommendations to:

Latest Update: March 2007

The Indigenous Afforestation and Silviculture group seeks to establish the sustainable development of indigenous afforestation and then implement permanent-canopy ecological silviculture in New Zealand. The group’s initiatives complement sustainable afforestation and ecological silviculture developments in other parts of the world. The group is associated with and supported by Tane’s Tree Trust and Landcare Trust NZ.

Native afforestation and silviculture effectively mitigates greenhouse gas emissions and addresses the 4 well-beings of sustainable development (social and cultural, economic and environmental). Consequently there is substantial interest in its development and implementation. The group’s members include forest ecologists, economists, organisational leaders, Tangata Whenua, farmers, farm foresters, vineyard proprietors, researchers et cetera.

A pre-requisite to building indigenous afforestation and silviculture capacity is developing robust information about appropriate elite seed-sources.

This project's purpose is to develop and apply a robust methodology to identify elite native timber-tree eco seed-sources that can sustain viable indigenous afforestation projects. This project is designed to provide the information necessary to implement a New Zealand-wide elite indigenous timber-tree eco seed-sourcing project, based on the “Land Environments New Zealand” classification. The New Zealand-wide elite eco seed-source project is subject to this group’s SFF 07 application.

Legislation supports ecological afforestation and eco seed-sourcing overseas. Consequently, a substantial body of applied research backs eco-sourcing of plant propagation material with superior timber attributes for ecological afforestation projects and forestry’s sustainable development, which benefits this project’s efficient implementation.

The project team adopted and trialled a generic method of measurable elite timber-tree parameters and characteristics from overseas, where parameters are either measured or assessed as 1 of 5 categories. Each category is defined as a measurable parameter, relative to a species’ growth characteristics. Elite trees of any species must be assessed within categories one to three for all variables. A survey of key stakeholders (milestone 3) and analysis of species and environment specific data (milestone 5) incorporates indigenous species’ characteristics, thus adapting the generic method to New Zealand conditions. By the end of October 2006 the team had developed and fine-tuned field-survey methods to ensure efficient and effective data capture.

The project team met and consulted with local experts and key-staff to incorporate local knowledge by early November 2006. Subsequent identification and measurement of elite stands of indigenous timber-trees provided confidence of having developed an effective, accurate and efficient method to deliver stand locations of eco seed-sources for economic indigenous afforestation projects throughout New Zealand.

The team completed the register for Environment B 1.2 late November 2006 and part of Environment H 1.1 by January 2006. The elite seed-sourcing project’s data analyses of tree measurements and characteristics delivered mapped and graphed information on elite species attributes and elite stand locations relative to their environments.

In the coastal Moutere environment (B 1.2), a number of trees retain some elite characteristics, yet elite trees (those that retain elite characteristics for all parameters) were far and few and no elite stands remain. The H1.1 environment’s surveyed forests retain elite stands and trees of most assessed species.

The project team is very satisfied with the results, which meet our expectation in terms of delivering an efficient and robust method and a sound basis for its recommendation to the group to conduct a New Zealand-wide register of elite indigenous eco seed-sources.