Since the last annual report in April 2005 the weather in the relevant places has been relatively uneventful from a forest grower's point of view. A very mild autumn and winter; an average spring; a below average rainfall summer and a cool wet autumn. Now a 'real' winter with lots of rain and some snow. Snow can damage young pine plantations but yours are fine. We hope it remains that way and spring follows early.
Glens of Tekoa 'GT14' (18ha). This stand of GF Plus Radiata cuttings is growing very nicely now and despite some relatively heavy snow has escaped damage. With the aid of selective herbicides the trees have grown above the competing broom and over the next few years they will completely dominate, then eclipse it. The trace element boron, which aids nutrient uptake, will be applied this spring. This is routine for pine in NZ.
Hopefield Station 'HF3' (55ha). So far this stand of GF Plus Radiata cuttings has outgrown the other two but it is early days yet. It is a very good site: sheltered, a mild climate, sufficient rain and an unusual blue clay soil type trees seem to thrive in. The trace element boron will be applied this year.
Chimney Creek 'CC2' (56ha). In the long run this should be your best Radiata forest stand as, like the other two it is on a reasonably sheltered site with equally suitable soil but more year-round warmth and rain. We established and still manage the neighbouring 130 ha stand, which was high pruned in two lifts and thinned aged seven. That is good. Part of CC2 is competing with gorse but the trees are just ahead of it so will be fine. Again, boron will be applied this year.
Gola Peaks 'GP1' (50ha). This forest stand is on a classic Douglas-fir site, being south facing high country. It has had quite a lot of snow this winter but that is no problem for Douglas-fir. Growth has been good over the last year or so and gradually this site will be looking more and more like a forest. It will be three years old this spring so is still in what we call the 'establishment' phase. Douglas-fir is much slower than Radiata pine in the first few years, growing at less than half the rate. But from here the growth rate should increase quite rapidly. Animal browse can be a problem in the early years for Douglas-fir while the plants are small. Possums and hares are the main culprits but sheep can be a problem if fencing is not up to scratch. It is good at Gola Peaks.
WARREN FORESTRY Ltd