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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1972) 17(2): 180–188
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Management of West Coast beech forests

A.D. Johnston

The northern west coast of the South Island of New Zealand — between the Taramakau and Mokihinui Rivers — has approximately 242,820 ha of merchantable indigenous State forest, which can be grouped broadly into three major categories — podocarp-beech, beech, and podocarp-hardwood forests. The beech (Nothofagus spp.) content of these has been underutilized mainly because of extensive hidden decay and difficulties in sawing, seasoning, and treating. This situation may alter now that the use of beech for pulping is technically feasible. A recent survey of State forest land indicates a beech wood resource of over 28 million m3. The pure beech forests offer the best opportunity for practising beech management employing a clearfelling system combined with ground scarification and retention of seed trees, and followed by early thinning of thickets of regeneration
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