The Maungataniwha Pine Forest was previously mature native forest. It had been logged progressively and then burned before being put under pine.
In the largest and most expensive project being undertaken by the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust we’re converting this entire area - more than 4,000 hectares - back into regenerating native forest.
Under a 12-year hand-back agreement with Matariki Forests we’re taking control of land that has been harvested each year. This harvested land is then regenerated.
There is sufficient native species seed within the soil to enable regeneration without the need for additional seeding. A major challenge, however, is the regenerating pine seedlings which emerge and effectively crowd out the slower growing native forest species.
Field removal of these ‘wilding’ pines is necessary to preserve the integrity of the regenerating native forest. The optimum time for this is within two years of the last harvest, after which they become more difficult and more expensive to remove.
This significant project is backed by the Department of Conservation, which is interested in the land stewardship methods and spray mix we’re using to encourage the growth of native plants while inhibiting the wilding pines. We have received funding for this work from the public conservation funding organisation, the Biodiversity Conditions Fund, which helps to underpin the project.
© Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust.