Target Pest undertakes Wilding Conifer contracts all over the South Island working with wide variety of agencies such as the Department of Conservation, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Environment Canterbury and other private companies. As the name suggests, wilding conifers are naturally spreading introduced trees that can be found from the coastline right up to the alpine environment. Most of our wilding pine contract work is in the high country of the South Island where these trees are impacting on our natural biodiversity values.
Pinus contorta – Lodgepole pine/Contorta Pine
- Possibly our biggest threatening introduced conifer species. Trees can start coning and seeding at a very young age 5-7 years and is highly adaptable to its environment. Contorta Pine can create dense thickets, which can over compete other species and cause a closed canopy scenario, which can suppresses any indigenous growth.
Larix decidua. – European Larch
- Commonly found at higher altitude sites, this tree species can grow to a very large size.
Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas fir
- A major plant pest species in the high country of New Zealand. Douglas Fir can quickly colonise high country areas and cold open slips in bush gullies.
Pinus mugo – Mountain Pine
- As the name suggest, this pine species was originally planted for scree stabilisation. Although its spread is slow and is generally contained, this wilding pine is notoriously hard to control due to its many lateral offshoots which grow amongst the moving scree slope.
Pinus radiata, P. sylvestris., P. ponderosa, P. nigra, P. muricata and others
- Other members of the pinus (pine) family which are commonly found growing as wilding trees. These species again are causing major problems in our natural environment by out competing native species for cover. Silver birch, Alder, Sycamore and others also create a wilding problem in ares.
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Chainsaw and Forestry clearing saws
- The large majority of trees are mechanically controlled either using chainsaws or forestry clearing saws. Operators are suitably trained, qualified and experienced to undertake this type of control. Chainsaw sizes range from small arboricultural saws to large commercial forestry saws.
- Large stands of regeneration work require the use of forestry handtools such as loppers, axes, grubbers and jack saws. Typically a large team would attack a major stand of conifers using methodical beats to ensure the ground is covered well, mitigating any missed seedlings.
- As the wilding conifers grow in sometimes out of the way places, helicopters play an integral part of our operations from skid hopping work to ferrying staff around on the mountain. We use a wide variety of aircraft such as H500D, Notar, Bell Jet ranger and twin engine Squirrels. All staff are suitably qualified and trained on safe use in and around helicopters.