Wilding conifers were first recorded in Canterbury during the 1830s, spreading from introduced conifers that were planted to form the basis of the plantation forestry industry during early European settlement.
By 2002, there were an estimated 62,000 ha of wilding conifers in the 1.2 million ha Canterbury hill and high country (Old, 2003). Of the 25 species of wilding conifer present in Canterbury, contorta pine, Corsican pine, Douglas fir, radiata pine, larch, Scots pine and mountain pine are the most common to widespread.
About 81,288 ha of conifers (Land Cover Database II) have been planted in the Canterbury region mainly for forestry, shelterbelts and erosion control by industry, government agencies and private individuals.
Wilding conifers obscure scenic views, decrease production of pastoral farms, increase the risk of fire, reduce stream water yield in flow sensitive catchments, displace threatened habitats and species, and impact on cultural and historic sites.
The agencies agreed to prepare a wilding conifer Strategy, giving emphasis to protecting the landscape, conservation and production values of the Canterbury hill and high country.
The Canterbury Wilding Conifer Strategy 2010-2015 was completed in March 2010. It provides the framework for a coordinated inter-agency approach to wilding conifer control that calls for the use of a number of 'tools', including operational control, education and advocacy, as well as collective responsibility for addressing the problem.
The Strategy is a non-statutory document, intended to be considered alongside other statutory and non-statutory documents and initiatives, such as:
From 1998-2002, Environment Canterbury surveyed wilding conifers in the 12 major catchments of the Canterbury hill and high country. The survey data provides a baseline against which we can prioritise our effort and measure the success (or failure) of wilding conifer control undertaken or coordinated by agencies, communities or individuals.
Find out where wilding conifers were near you by clicking on the maps below, or reading the report linked below (Old, 2003). To purchase any fact sheets, reports or e-copies of the maps, on disc, contact us.
Report on exotic wilding tree spread within defined areas of the Canterbury high country - June 2003 (pdf 6.22 MB) (Old, 2003)
Click on an area of the map below to find out where wilding conifers were in that area:
Find out more –
Download and read the info sheets:
contact us for more information on how to identify and control wilding conifers;
Department of Conservation
Land Information New Zealand
Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc)
Waimakariri Ecological & Landscape Restoration Alliance (WELRA)
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
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