NZ needs to plant more trees to combat climate change – but what kind and where?

The business model underpinning radiata pine forestry relies on the economies of scale of clear-fell harvesting, which leaves the land highly vulnerable for up to 20% of the whole rotation period. As Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell puts it, radiata forest owners “keep their fingers and arms and legs crossed and hope not to get a weather bomb” during the post-harvest window of vulnerability.

But with climate change bringing more intense storms – such as this year’s cyclones Fehi, Gita and Hola – hoping for the best no longer seems a credible risk-management strategy.