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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2018) 62(4): 5–9
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Conference Report
Pruned wood supply from the Central North Island and disrupter influences on wood processing

Jeff Tombleson *,1

1 Director, Jeff Tombleson & Associates Ltd, Rotorua. Email:
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: This study examines the influences on pruned wood flow in the Central North Island (CNI) where most of the mills are focused on processing pruned logs. Understanding these influences is strategically important for the 12 pruned log mills that are mostly purpose-designed and market-focused on processing higher-value pruned versus lower-value knotty grade logs. These CNI-based mills collectively process over 1.2 million m3 of pruned logs annually, being most of the pruned logs produced. Changing forest management practices by the two-large scale CNI corporate forest growers away from pruning along with abrupt changes in age class structure results in a bleak outlook for the pruned log mills. Over the following 12 years to 2030 annual pruned log production reduces by 375,000 m3, representing a reduction of 30%. Furthermore, in 2037 pruned log supply from Kaingaroa Timberlands will cease resulting in a loss of more than 450,000 m3 annually, representing a total reduction of 70% relative to the current CNI domestic consumption. These reductions of pruned log supply will commercially compromise most, if not all, of the CNI pruned log mills. Future processing of a much-reduced volume of pruned logs will most likely be carried out by the few sawmills processing structural logs, and pruned logs will also continue to be exported.
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