Our favourite Californian – the history of Radiata Pine forestry in NZ

Radiata pine (Pinus radiata, known as Monterey pine in its place of origin, California), makes up nearly 90% of New Zealand’s plantation forest (1.6 million hectares). The pine grows much faster here than its homeland – about 7 times faster than in the US and 20 times faster than in Canada. No wonder then that New Zealand, along with Chile and Australia, are the top growers of this species worldwide. New Zealand also boasts the most extensive plantation forest, dominated by radiata pine, in the southern hemisphere (Kaingaroa Forest [click here for map]). So, how did this pine species become so integral to our landscape and economy? Continue reading