Bergin, D.O. 2000. Current knowledge relevant to management of Podocarpus totara for timber. New Zealand Journal of Botany 38(3):343-359.

Available: HERE (accessed 2009.03.22).


The silviculture and ecology of the New Zealand endemic tree Podocarpus totara (totara) relevant to management for timber production, either in plantations or in managed, naturally regenerating second-growth stands, is reviewed. There is increasing interest in information on the management of tree species indigenous to New Zealand for a range of objectives including timber production. Previous studies and observations have identified a range of features that make totara a species worthy of further evaluation for growing as a specialty timber tree. These include its cultural and heritage values; durability and machining qualities of the wood; wide distribution; tolerance of a wide variety of sites; ease with which seedlings can be raised in a nursery; good growth rates; potential genetic gains in both growth and form; and amenability to tending. There is also a range of non-timber benefits in managing a long-term resource of totara. In addition to the interest in planting and managing totara for timber, there is a large resource of naturally regenerating second-growth stands in many regions throughout the country that have the potential to be managed and provide a supply of wood. Matters requiring investigation include quantifying growth rates and yield of both planted and naturally regenerating stands, determining the resource of natural second-growth stands that could be managed, identifying factors that influence the growth of heartwood, identifying low-impact management interventions, and evaluating a range of silvicultural systems that may be suitable for managing totara as a long-rotation specialty species.