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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2020) 65(3): 36–39
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Short Communication
The push to plant pines - a photographic history

Michelle Harnett

Early 20th century afforestation boom New Zealand saw an afforestation boom in the 1920s and 1930s with the establishment of around 288,000 ha of plantation forests. An old photo collection that I have acquired through Scion and others sources shows what life was like then in new forests around Canterbury. Pinus radiata is one of the most successful forest plantation species in the world. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions, grows quickly, the timber is versatile, and the economics of growing it are attractive. The Royal Forestry Commission of 1913, charged with allaying ‘early 20th century “timber famine” fears in New Zealand’, identified radiata pine as one of the choices for commercial forestry (Roche, 2013).
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