Investing in the preservation of New Zealand Radiata Pine
Pinepac has a significant investment and commitment to the Radiata Pine industry in New Zealand. We have three company forests within a 50km radius of our processing plants at Kumeu and Whenuapai with a combined gross area of around 1,150ha (2,841 acres) and planted area of over 800ha (2,000 acres). Over 1 million seedlings have been planted in these areas since 1993.
We practice strict nature preservation to conserve this resource for generations to come. Our company policy is to replant forest areas within one year of harvest so beginning another tree crop cycle that will take up to 30 years. For every tree felled at least three saplings are planted and patiently cultivated for three decades before it is deemed suitable to go on the production line. Typically a Radiata Pine tree is ready for harvest at around 28 to 30 years of age. During its fast-growing lifetime it will have added up to 28 cubic metres per hectare per year of solid wood fibre and absorbed some 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Each tree harvested can yield 95% of its average 2.41m3 of volume as recoverable wood fibre.
Radiata Pine was introduced to this country in the 1850′s for shelterbelts, today more than 90% of New Zealand’s plantation forests are of this versatile species. Pinepac intends to continue toward self-sufficiency in growing Radiata Pine for the Whenuapai sawmill and Kumeu post and pole plant.
We use chainsaws for most harvesting operations, however there is some mechanical harvesting of small trees for pulpwood and sawlogs where terrain permits. Rubber-tyred skidders and loaders are used to haul and load logs for our processing plants. Manual harvesting is now restricted to steep slope and/or thinning operations.