Green Crow has been engaged in the forest products industry in New Zealand since 1993. The New Zealand forest industry is based predominantly on the management of radiata pine plantations. Radiata pine is a species of pine native to California. Other non-native plantation species grown in New Zealand include Douglas-fir, eucalyptus species and several other species of pine. Even redwood from California grows well in certain regions of New Zealand.
Radiata pine is grown either at low stocking levels with pruned trees to produce knot-free pine boards, or at higher stocking levels to produce industrial grade saw logs and pulpwood. Through decades of selective breeding of the trees, the forest industry is now planting high quality varieties that exhibit straightness, small knots, higher density and rapid growth. These plantations can yield up to 30 cubic meters per hectare per year over a thirty year growing cycle. This equates to approximately 10-12 tons per acre per year.
New Zealand is a relatively small economy, so a large percentage of the timber is grown for the export market. Until recent years Japan was the biggest customer for logs, wood chips and finished products, but currently China has become the largest customer. Other Asian economies also import New Zealand timber including Korea, the Philippines and more recently India.