Radiata Data – the “fun facts” about Pine plantation forests in New Zealand.

 In Timber Education Blog

Radiata Pine is “the Super Timber of the 21st century.”

For a small country New Zealand produces large numbers when it comes to forestry, in particular Radiata Pine.

Forestry contributes over 6.4 billion dollars in export earnings to New Zealand’s economy annually with the lion’s share being Radiata Pine products. Year on year there is around 1.5 million hectares of Radiata trees standing in the country.


How did a small country like New Zealand become so “big” in pine? 

Monterey Pine arrived from California in New Zealand in the 1850’s  as a trial. It loved the soil and conditions in its new country and flourished, hitting its first boom in the 1920’s to 30’s.

Early trees grew fast and were big and “bushy” used mainly for shelterbelts and woodlots, so it was decided to use some grafts to enhance this up and coming species. The 70’s arrived and straighter, tougher and faster growing pine trees were being farmed and harvested in massive forests across the country.



Trees “devour” carbon 

Carbon-consuming trees are obviously good for the planet so although large volumes of new trees is a good thing – since the 70’s

environmental concern about the balance between pine and native forests has become better understood.

In 2007, the industry developed a code of practice that became an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Now the majority of the country’s large plantations are governed by not only Recourse Management Act legislation – but have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and conform to their own code of conduct.

This is good news for NZ as our beautiful natural forests are protected, our plantation forests are renewable, we harvest Radiata Pine responsibly and look after the environment.

Forestry is a thriving industry- it’s a win-win for all of us

Today’s Radiata Pine is strong and versatile making it ideal for construction, plus it has a stunning finished appearance making it a sought-after decorative timber. It is also easy to treat with preservative making it last for decades.It has become one of the world’s most popular timbers.

One billion trees by 2028

The NZ Government are in behind producing sustainable Pine plantations. They have a goal of ensuring a billion trees are planted over the next decade. That’s a lot of carbon that will eventually be devoured and a lot of Kiwis being employed to get us there.

We love pine 

Radiata Pine is MLC’s timber of choice. It’s all we process. We are also Forest Stewardship Council certified so we only buy pine from sustainable sources.

We have become very well-acquainted with it. We know how well it performs and the world loves it.

That’s why we think NZ Grown Radiata Pine is the “Super Timber” of the 21st century.

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