Taking care of your forest

Forests are one of our most important resources. MPI helps owners keep their forests in good health.


Healthy forests are important for New Zealand

Forests are important to New Zealand's economy and environment. They play a role in conservation, climate change management, exporting and employment. It's important we keep them healthy so they continue to flourish.

Do health checks and be aware of biosecurity risks

Small, dense areas of tree plantation are common in rural and urban New Zealand. Because they're not managed as rigorously as commercial forests, they make good homes for new and invasive pests and diseases.

If you have a small forest or tree plantation, you can help prevent biosecurity threats by running regular inspections and being aware of new and ongoing biosecurity issues.

Make regular inspections

There are many ways to inspect your forest. The type of inspection you do will depend on how much forestry experience you have and the size of your forest.

  • Condition monitoring – checking the average condition of your forest. This is useful for seeing patterns over time.
  • Photo points – taking photos in the same place, regularly. These are useful for visually tracking changes.
  • Surveying specific pests or diseases – a useful way to check levels of one specific condition in your forest. But you'll need to know what symptoms or signs you're looking for.
  • Symptom assessments – intensive inspection of all trees in a defined area for any and all signs of damage. Take recordings by section of tree (overall form, branches, buds and foliage, roots and collars, logs and stumps, leaders and stem).

In all cases, it's best to keep detailed notes – including times, dates, weather conditions and GPS coordinates.

Control weeds

Controlling weeds is an important part of looking after your forest plantation. Invasive weeds can:

  • steal nutrients needed by trees
  • restrict the growth of saplings
  • harbour pests that may be harmful to your trees.

Regular inspections are the best way to find and deal with invasive weeds before they become a problem.


Forestry care partnership

In 2015, the Government signed a landmark agreement with the Forest Owners Association. The Government Industry Agreement (GIA) creates an operating partnership to manage pests and diseases that could damage New Zealand's economy and environment.

The GIA details:

  • what each party has to maintain and care for
  • who funds certain activities, like biosecurity and forestry care
  • how the parties will work together and make decisions.

The agreement is the first of its kind for the forestry sector in New Zealand.

Grant schemes and forest care

MPI has funding available to encourage innovation, and support forestry projects that improve land production or reduce erosion.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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