Growing the value of forests

Scion is working to sustainably increase forest productivity to maximise the value and profitability of the forestry industry in New Zealand. Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest primary export and the industry is working towards doubling its export earnings by 2022. This will boost regional and national economies and bring environmental benefits.

Breeding better trees

Growth and wood quality traits in Pinus radiata are highly heritable. We use a combination of phenotyping and genetic selection techniques to develop breeding programmes for traits that are of commercial value to the forest industry.

Contact: Heidi Dungey, Science Leader, Forest Genetics

Boosting forest productivity

Forest productivity depends on a number of variables including soil and climate, tree monitoring and management, and efficient harvesting technologies. Understanding the effects and interactions of these will help us create highly productive future forests.

Contact: Peter Clinton, Scientist, Microbial Ecology - Soil Systems

Diversifying commercial forestry

Our tree breeding programmes include exotic forest species such as Douglas-fir, redwoods, eucalypts and cypresses to meet a growing demand to diversify into other forest species.

Contact: Heidi Dungey, Research Group Leader, Quantitative Genetics

Information technologies for forestry

Software tools and visualisations are increasingly supporting all aspects of forest planning and management.

Contact: Data Analytics: Elizaveta Graevskaya, Research Group Leader, Data and Geospatial Intelligence
Geomatics: Michael Watt, Principal Researcher, Remote Sensing and GIS

Creating value and competitive advantage

Scion has a team that helps grow business by connecting opportunities across the full spectrum of the forestry value chain.

Contact: Tim Barnard, Associate Science Leader, Forest Ecology and Management

Transforming tree phenotyping for future forests

Researchers are leveraging the phenotype of millions of trees to enhance the productivity of planted forests in New Zealand, vital for its transition to a carbon-neutral bioeconomy. This approach enables forest growers to strategically match various tree genotypes to site conditions, both present and future, boosting productivity, improving indigenous and exotic plantation health and resilience, and adapting to changing climates.

Contact: Michael Watt, Research Group Leader, Principal Scientist