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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1978) 23(1): 107–120
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Establishment practice on frost-prone sites at Kaingaroa forest

R.W. Washbourn

Kaingaroa Forest is located on an elevated inland plateau at altitudes in excess of 500 m. It experiences a cold winter climate, and frosts (which occur throughout the year) have a major influence on forest establishment practices. Most of the first-rotation crop at Kaingaroa was established in less than a decade from 1924 and, despite the use of frost-hardy species, 5% of the area remained unstocked owing to frost problems. Establishment of the second-rotation forest commenced in 1946 on easy country, and it was not until 1964 that any serious attempts were made to establish or re-establish the higher frost flats and terraces above 610 m in southern Kaingaroa Forest. Radiata pine has now been successfully established on cold sites up to 885 m and under extreme summer/winter frost levels of — 4.5"C to --14.0° C. The species had not previously been established on such sites. Trials showed that successful establishment requires: (1) Cultivation of the site prior to planting; (2) the use of well conditioned planting stock; (3) planting no earlier in the winter than July; (4) the positioning of seedlings on mounds or ridges wherever possible; and (5) maintenance of a weed-free site for two years following establishment.
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