Story: Radiata pine

Life cycle of a managed radiata pine

Life cycle of a managed radiata pine

This diagram shows the steps involved in growing a plantation pine, from preparing the planting site to the harvest of the tree for its timber some 25–30 years later.

First, land is prepared before planting by clearing away competing shrubs and weeds.

Young plants, about 30 centimetres high, are planted out in winter months.

The young trees are pruned one to three times. The lower branches are removed when they are young to produce knot-free timber.

The stand of forest trees is thinned to around 300 trees per hectare, giving the best specimens more space to grow well.

Most pruning and thinning occurs within the first 12–15 years, and for the next 10–15 years the remaining trees are left to grow until harvest.

The trees are felled and delimbed, and the logs are transported to a timber mill or port for shipping overseas.

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Source: Forestry Insights

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How to cite this page:

Peter Berg, 'Radiata pine - Growing and harvesting the forest', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2023)

Story by Peter Berg, published 24 Nov 2008