Why don’t we plant more natives?

The leaves are turning on the deciduous trees bringing a welcome blaze of colour to the garden.

Out on the farm the shelter belts are evergreens and exotic ones at that – mostly pines and another species the name of which always escapes me.

They do provide shade and shelter but I wonder why we use exotics when natives could do the job as well.

Pittosporums, for instance, grow quickly, are hardy, aren’t eaten by stock and might attract more native birds.

4 Responses to Why don’t we plant more natives?

  1. gravedodger says:

    Fair comment but one of the marked contrasts revealed during our 20 yrs in the North Island was the drabness of the large tracts of scenic reserves.We often found the sameness a little boring.
    My childhood was marked by the fact that native species were often in the enemy camp as vegetation, Matagouri, Manuka, Kanuka, Tawhini,another we called Maori Onion and Bracken Fern. They all found topdressing as beneficial as did pasture species with Matagouri being an invasive species that went from shrub to tree. I understand a recent paper from a person of education suggesting Matagouri could become endangered, most places I visit would give the lie to that theory.
    Back to the N I one place to put on your ‘things to see’ is the Eastwood Arboretum near Gisborne. 600 acres of deciduous woodland developed by a slightly eccentric by the name of Cook (he used to work on the development in a naturist fashion) but the legacy is a result not to be missed.


  2. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    Yes, there are a couple of native up North I’d like to plant. Harawira and Jones.


  3. JC says:

    You can certainly use natives, but it has to be within the objectives of farm shelter.

    Trees give wind protection out on to the pasture for 15-22 times their height, so P radiata at age 20 in your neck of the woods will shelter out to half a kilometer. But as you’ll know, standing under such a shelterbelt can be murder if there’s no low growing species to block the drafts coming between the tree trunks.. and thats where natives do a good job. They can be shade tolerant, low growing and bushy enough to block those under tree drafts.

    Native shelter around the house and garden is a goer because you dont need great height to lift the wind over the house.



  4. gravedodger says:

    Im with Adolph here but I would try Tordon as a first step then burn off the residual brush or would that be scrub


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