Six Hills Forest Partnership
8 March 2004
We are pleased to report as follows:
Forest Stand Progress
Your forest stands are fine despite a season of wild climatic fluctuations. A cool wet spring then two very warm months of summer without any rain. Then a cool wet February leaving the feeling autumn is here. Some gales were thrown into the mix too. Still, it could’ve been worse, as a look further north reminds us.
Your Radiata pine clearwood regime GT7 at Glens of Tekoa has had its first lift of pruning to over three metres. The trees are of very good form and are healthy. This stand is probably the Partnership’s best. To assist the monitoring of growth and health and the timing of further silviculture, some of the sample plots used for auditing the recent pruning will be made into what are known as Permanent Sample Plots (‘PSPs’). We will do this on all your stands.
Further pruning of AH2 at Ahuriri will be underway soon, followed by a thinning. The same will be the case for AH1 later in the year. The latter has the better form as it has more shelter. Both stands have plenty of trees to select from so the final crop selected should be good.
Your stand HF1 at Hopefield will have its first lift shortly. Growth, form and health are very good. Parts of this site are steep and have suffered small slips and there are patches where establishment has not been 100%. The stand LH2 at Leslie Hills has similar patches of poor establishment due to broom and some areas where growth and form have suffered due to exposure. Areas of poor form or slow growth will be left largely unpruned and at a higher stocking to produce framing timber.
Your Douglas-fir stand GT10 at Glens of Tekoa, approaching eight years old, now has the appearance from a distance of closed canopy forest, despite actually not being at that point yet. It is probably our best Douglas-fir stand. We will put in PSPs this year and compare the data we get to original forecasts. In due course there will be the option of confirming the original regime plan or going for a ‘regime change’ if forecasts and risk-benefit analysis show you would gain from a new regime. (Silviculture and geo-politics are similar eh!)
Good News on Douglas-fir
At a recent Douglas-fir Coop meeting we learned of two items that are pleasing. Firstly the BIA, although tightening the Building Code restrictions on the use of untreated timber decided to give untreated Douglas-fir the green light for some significant framing applications. There still remain some unwarranted requirements for treatment but there is also an ‘Alternative Solution’ provision allowing one to build outside the Code if a Building Inspector approves. Gaining approval for 100% Douglas-fir framing without chemical treatment is much more likely following recent Forest Research work proving Douglas-fir is considerably more resistance than Radiata pine to moisture absorption.
The second item of research concerns the trace element boron, a deficiency of which has been linked to deformation in Radiata pine. Anecdotal evidence had it that the link was similar in Douglas-fir but early results of trials are showing no such thing. Indeed it appears adding B to stands inhibits growth. This is good news in as much as your Consultant has always advised us not to apply it. That has saved considerable cost and it seems, growth!
If you have any queries about anything, or want more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.
WARREN FORESTRY Ltd
Manager for the SHF Partnership Committee