Native trees grow to maturity very slowly and so native forests don’t recover quickly after being cut down. To make sure there would be enough wood in future, researchers tested fast-growing trees from overseas.
Radiata pine trees were found to be the best for planted forests, because they grow fast and their wood can be used for many different purposes.
Types of research
Forestry researchers look for ways to support the forestry industry. Their work includes
- studying the way forests grow
- experimenting with new methods of planting and caring for trees
- finding ways to make trees grow bigger and faster
- stopping insects or diseases from damaging the plants
- inventing new machines to plant, prune and cut down trees, and process the wood
- developing new wood products, including different kinds of fuels to run factories, heat schools and power cars.
Benefits of forests
Researchers have found that plantation forests can:
- make the soil more fertile
- improve the quality of water in nearby rivers and streams
- make land more stable
- help reduce greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.