New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1999) 44(1): 23–28
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Early survival and growth of introduced forest trees in the Canterbury high country.
This article describes the results of three comparative species plantings established at Ribbonwood Station (near L Ohau), Craigieburn Range (upper Waimakariri catchment) and Balmoral Station (near L Tekapo) in 1983, 1986 and 1992. The Craigieburn, Ribbonwood and Balmoral trials tend to confirm earlier reports as to the reliability (if sited properly) of the recognised high country species, Douglas-fir, Corsican and ponderosa pine, but have shown radiata pine to be more hardy and muricata to be less hardy than expected. The indications are that some radiata breeds or 'hybrids' may perform better than others, but no significant difference has been detected between the GF breeds tested. The high country climate can vary dramatically from year to year, and in very dry seasons, which on average appear to occur about once every 5 years, survivals can low on light, drought-prone soils.