Analytical laboratory services

Scion’s analytical chemistry laboratory, located at the Rotorua campus, carries out testing on soil, foliage, waste water, wood and wood preservatives. Customers for these services include research staff, forestry companies, nurseries, universities, pulp and paper and timber mills, timber suppliers, mining companies, land holders and more.

PPCNZ services

Scion is pleased to announce that previous PPCNZ services are now available to customers through Scion. Scion has a long history of technical capability in this space and following the acquisition of PPCNZ equipment and recruitment of PPCNZ staff, would be happy to undertake PPCNZ type projects for you if required. Please email for further information.

Foliage analysis

Nutrient levels in foliage give a good indication of nutrient levels in the plant. Foliage testing will show foresters and nurseries if their trees are lacking in nutrients and allow deficiencies to be addressed before they affect tree growth.

Scion can give tree growers access to the latest forest health research from New Zealand and around the world.

Scion provides elemental analysis and fertiliser recommendations using an ICP-MS and LECO Carbon & Nitrogen analyser.


Basic Plant Test (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, B, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu)
BPI Plant Test includes the above plus Al, Na & S (These include a fertiliser recommendation)
Carbon & Nitrogen
Moisture content
Loss on ignition and ash content
Trace elements (Pb ,Cd, Co, Cr, As, Ni) Other elements on inquiry.

Sample types

Foliage, seedlings, wood

Soil and Foliage Sampling information sheet [pdf]
Foliage Input Form [docx]
External Work Request Form [pdf]

Soil analysis

Soil testing for nutrients and elements is an important tool for forest managers, both pre-planting and in conjunction with foliage sampling to identify fertiliser requirements.

Soil analysis can be used to predict and define possible reasons for nutrient deficiencies or imbalances at any stage in the forestry life cycle.


Moisture Content
Loss on ignition / ash content / organic matter
Particle density
Particle size (% sand:silt:clay)
Water holding capacity
Total Carbon & Nitrogen
Phosphorus – Bray P; Olsen P; Total P; Inorganic P; Organic P; P-retention
Bray Cations (Mg, K, Ca)
Cation Exchange Capacity and Base saturation
Cation Exchange Capacity
Mehlich 3 (B, Ca, Al, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, P, Na, Zn)
Other trace elements available by ICP-MS

Sample types

Soils (sands, silts, clays); sludge; other miscellaneous sample types
Soil and Foliage Sampling information sheet [pdf]
Soils Input Form [docx]

Watch a video on soil sampling

Carbohydrate and lignin analysis

Tests for carbohydrate and lignin properties are carried out for biofuel researchers, pulp and paper industries and for sugar analysis.

Scion provides lignin and carbohydrate testing using the ion chromatography (IC) technique.


Lignin (klason and acid soluble)
Monomeric & Total Carbohydrates (liquid samples).


Wood, pulp, liquor from biofuel research

Sampling Information

10 g required for solids samples
25 mL required for liquid samples

Solid biofuels (wood chip and pellet) analysis

Wood fuels in various forms are increasingly used for energy production.

The sale and purchase of wood fuels has highlighted the need for the seller and the purchaser of wood fuel to be confident with respect to the description and quality of the wood fuel sought or supplied.

The Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ) has developed guidelines for the classification of wood fuel. These guidelines provide a common methodology for classifying, specifying and determining the quality of traded wood fuel in New Zealand.

The classification of wood fuels is based on particle size, moisture content, ash content, bulk density and energy density.  Scion offers a range of analytical services which cover the information required to classify the wood fuel. These tests are performed for wood fuel providers, wood fuel users, engineering companies and district and regional councils. Read more in our biofuels info sheet [pdf]


Moisture Content
Particle Size Distribution (including fines amount)
Bulk Density
Calorific Value (Specific Energy)
Ultimate analysis (Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen content)
Elemental analysis (major and trace elements by ICP-MS)

Sample types: wood chips, hog fuel, urban wood fuels, wood pellets, torrefied wood, firewood.

Sampling information

A representative sample, minimum of 4 L, is required. Contact us for more information.

Publications and videos


Planted-forest Nutrition, M. Davies, J. Xu and P. Clinton


Foliage sampling

Soil sampling

Taking samples for soil chemistry analysis

Soil sampling for bulk density measurement

For more information and other videos please visit the GCFF website.


Scion is a member of the Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council, and also participates in a global inter-laboratory comparison programme. This gives independent assurance that our test results are accurate and reliable.


For more details and pricing enquiries contact: or phone: +64 7 343 5899

Please note: Testing services are only available at our Head Office in Rotorua.