Forestry Field Trips

During my time in New Zealand I was fortunate enough to take a forestry class called “Trees in the Landscape” which talked about, you guessed it, trees and the roles they play in New Zealand.  Various types of trees were studied (with a huge emphasis to Radiata Pine – New Zealand’s go-to tree for lumber use), what soil they worked best in, types of areas where we see trees, objectives when planting trees, and everything in between.  Before signing up for the class, I saw that there were three field trips throughout the semester and I figured that any field trip in New Zealand was a field trip worth going on.

One weekend in late September (the 21st) I went out with my class and one of my three professors for this class.  We mainly looked at what roles trees played in the urban landscape and what their impact has been (as well as what’s been impacting them).  On the three stops we took, the first one we looked at a street that had been reorganized.  A once popular street for vandalism and drunken disorderly behavior is now a winding road with many trees all around that gives an aesthetic appeal, gives a sense of pride within the community, and acts as a wildlife corridor so that animals can travel from one place to another more easily, and perhaps stop at a site they might not have otherwise reached.  We later visited a nursery and a local reserve where we planted native species.

On the second field trip, our class headed out with our second professor on September 28th to see the the roles that trees played in river control, in land use patterns, and commercial forestry.  Out of the four places we stopped we went to a man’s 20 hectare land.  The way he utilized the land was different because normally people raise animals while this man decided to only plant trees.  He had so many varieties of trees (pines, eucalypts, willows, poplars, acacia, etc.) and he planted them all in rows.  This lead to one of the coolest things ever – being able to stand in the middle of a row and look down it and only see trees ahead of you – like a hallway, of sorts.

The third trip we took our third professor showed us his own property and how he utilized the land. This last field trip encompassed everything that we had learned thus far.

I really enjoyed and got a lot out of each field trip and the entire class as a whole.  The only thing I regret about this class is that I wasn’t able to travel around the country for three weekends in a row, so by the time I was able to leave Christchurch it seemed like I was way behind all my other friends who were traveling to so many different places.  However, I did get to see some cool things with my fellow classmates and I am grateful for that experience.