Wilding Pine Control Methods

Control Guidelines

A guide to choosing the right control method for Wilding Pines – compiled by the Wilding Pine Network.

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Prevent the spread

Protecting Aotearoa from Wilding Pines leaflet – find out the what, where and why of wilding pines and how you can help in this handy leaflet:

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Native Shelter Belts

Our pick for the Whakatipu – Suitable native trees / shrubs / bushes for screening or shelter belts…

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Wilding Pine Quick ID Guide

Learn how to identify all of the wilding conifer species with our handy guide…

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Right Tree for Your Place

A shelter planting guide for landowners…

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Frequently Asked Questions


Can the timber from wildings be used commercially?

While claims are made of the commercial value of harvesting wildings, few wilding crops have been commercially viable. Wilding stems vary in quality and yield. Recovery costs for timber or firewood rarely break even in steep country, and in most cases access to the timber is unattainable.

Don’t these trees provide valuable carbon sequestration?

Generally, a predominantly wilding forest can’t be entered into the Emissions Trading Scheme. It is recognised that the negative environmental impacts of these trees, including loss of biodiversity, escalating pests, disease and fire risk outweigh any positive contribution. These risks were also acknowledged by the independent Climate Change Commission in their 2021 report, Ināia tonu nei: A low emissions future for Aotearoa. The limited amount of time that exotic forests store carbon is also recognised. Unlike many indigenous trees, few exotic species are long-lived in New Zealand. Our native plant species along with healthy soils are the long term sequesters of carbon.

What are the long-term environmental outcomes of wilding pines?

Large areas of exotic wildings with no ongoing management poses long-term risks of animal pests, disease, fire and further wilding conifer spread. Over time, fast-growing, heavy forests on steep, erosion prone land are also at risk of instability through heavy rain and windthrow, which can present long-term risks to downstream communities and for landowners.

What can landowners do to help?

Wilding conifers are incredibly hard to get rid of once they become established. Landowners can discourage wilding conifers by:

  • carefully selecting which conifer species are planted and where
  • removing wilding conifer saplings that have established outside planted areas, before they develop seed cones
  • working with neighbours to control wilding conifers that have spread across property boundaries
  • work with WCG to keep your land free of wilding pines. Instead plant native and low spread-risk trees
  • spread awareness – let others know of the rapidly escalating threat to our native plants, birdlife, views and landscapes, along with the fire risk and water conservation issues