Forest monitoring

Our annual growth and yield monitoring programme has progressed well in 2022-2023 with the following activities completed or near-completion:

  • A 344 sample plot inventory of near-harvest forest stands.
  • A 11 sample plot inventory of mid-rotation forest stands.
  • Remeasurement of the majority of permanent sample plots (PSPs) due for reassessment.
  • Updated and reconciled GIS mapping of all harvesting for the 2022/23 year using satellite imagery, orthophotography, small-scale aerial photography, GPS surveys, and UAV footage.
  • Physical yield reconciliation of  large recently completed Harvest Units.
  • Re-casting of the company’s extensive set of physical and financial yield tables based on the latest available inventory, PSP, and reconciliation data.
  • An annual revision of the company’s 10-year physical and financial harvest plan using Remsoft’s Woodstock planning software integrated with the company’s proprietary financial and carbon models. Note that this plan is based on an approximate three-rotation (i.e. 90 years) planning cycle, and uses the very latest available mapping and yield projection data to test for sustainable production levels.
  • An annual survey of the Forest Health of the company's forests was completed in July 2023 by SPS Biosecurity Ltd.  Significant findings from the 2023 survey included the continuing presence of animal pest damage to some trees. No major issues were noted.

By winter 2023, 76% of the company’s forest area older than 20 years of age had been measured, including 90% of radiata stands.

Since 2001 actual harvest volumes have been within 3% of prediction overall, which is well within an acceptable margin of error.

Clearfell coup size monitoring

A coup is an area of forest harvested.  The average clearfell coup size is monitored as part of the company’s commitment to the principles of FSC®. Recent results of this exercise are as follows:

Year (ending) Min (ha) Max (ha) Average (ha)
2005 0.1 53.7 11.4
2006 0.9 82.0 17.9
2007 0.9 59.0 22.1
2008 2.0 104.7 23.1
2009 1.1 84.8 24.1
2010 0.5 148.4 28.7
2011 2.7 66.6 23.4
2012 1.5 109.6 18.0
2013 0.2 94.7 28.2
2014 0.5 65.4 20.1
2015 3.2 115.0 32.3
2016 0.6 109.0 18.4
2017 3.4 124.3 27.1
2018 1.4 93.0 29.7
2019 8.0 100.0 27.0
2020 5.5 110.9 32.1
2021 5.2 96.9 40.8
2022 0.8 130.6 45.7
2023 1.2 125.2 30.5

City Forests has largely reached its sustainable levels of harvesting now.  Most current harvesting is now taking place in the company’s Tokoiti, Takitoa, and Silverpeaks forests.

Chemical use

All chemicals used during the 2022/23 year were checked for compliance with FSC® 's 'highly hazardous' pesticides list (Annex 6.1 of the National Standard) as part of our risk assessment process. One chemical used for weed control during the year is on the current restricted list (Picloram).  City Forests uses small quantities for post-planting weed control. It is an important tool in certain situations, and there is currently no other chemical available which is as effective.  No other chemicals used by the company appear on the 'Prohibited" list.

TBfree/Ospri animal pest control chemical operations have been conducted in our Waipori forest during 2019, Silverpeaks in 2020, Ferny Hill in 2022, and Silverpeaks and Waipori in 2023 (TBfree's operations are authorised by a variety of Acts and Regulations.)

City Forests actively participates in research into chemical and non-chemical alternatives, and is continually evaluating its management practices for ways in which to minimise Highly Hazardous chemical use.