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Trees for Riparian Plantings

Trees beside water courses provide shade and thus improve water quality and biodiversity. Fencing off streams and planting trees provides a natural filter that reduces siltatation and nutrient runoff into water courses. This means environmental benefits, aesthetic value and also provides satisfaction to the landowner.

Tree Grower articles

  • Planting in riparian zones
    Andrea Ravenscroft, November 2014
    The importance of riparian zones has come under focus recently as the state of freshwater quality in our streams and rivers is declining in many areas. Rural streams where banks…
  • Transforming Taranaki with riparian plantings
    Don Shearman, August 2014
    North Taranaki dairy farmer Blue Read, now also a Fonterra director, sums it up − ‘Riparian planting is going to happen in Taranaki. We farmers can choose to be the…
  • Trees for protection – native or otherwise
    Jim Flack, May 2013
    In geological terms, New Zealand is a young country and still growing. Tectonic plates grind beneath us, pushing the land upwards, while our maritime weather systems try to wear it…
  • Gullies supply most sediment to major East Coast river systems
    Mike Marden, August 2009
    It has long been suspected that gullies have been, and continue to be, the major source of sediment in each of the three major East Coast river systems − Waipaoa,…
  • Pine plantations and water quality in central North Island lakes
    John Quinn, November 2005
    Increasing nutrient levels threaten the quality of many central North Island lakes. A long term study showed that nutrients leaking from land to water decreased markedly when a central North…
  • Wood in streams - size really does matter
    Brenda Baillie, February 2005
    When the time comes for harvesting woodlots, most of us are aware of the risks associated with leaving large amounts of logging slash in streams. This is reflected in regional…

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Other sources of information

  • Water quality (Scion publication, August 2017)
    There are some 1.7 million hectares of planted forests in New Zealand, 90% of which are in radiata pine. These forests contain an estimated 24,220 km of streams that, for most of the forest growing cycle, provide a source of high quality water to downstream users. There is increasing pressure on our water resources. However, with prudent stewardship and ongoing improvements to management practices, New Zealand’s forests will continue to provide sustainable sources of high quality water.
  • Mind the Stream: A guide to looking after urban and rural streams in the Wellington Region 
    Greater Wellington Regional Council. (2004). Practical handbook including some good examples of streamside planting schemes. 
  • Best Practices for Riparian Management
    Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Land Management series.
    Two-page leaflet with introductory guidelines on managing riparian land.
  • Riparian zone/waterway management 
    Dairy NZ. Comprehensive resources from Dairy NZ. Developed for dairy farmers but also relevant to others. Includes a riparian planner tool with suggestions for planting riparian strips.
  • NZ Guidelines for Constructed Wetland Treatment of Tile Drainage
    Tanner, C. C., Sukias, J. P. S., & Yates, C. R. (2010) New Zealand Guidelines: Constructed Wetland Treatment of Tile Drainage NIWA Information Series No. 75 (pp. 54). Wellington: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
    Practical guidelines on the construction of wetlands on tile-drained areas to help control effluent run-off and create wildlife habitats on farms. Includes tree selection and management advice. 

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