As a key member of the national forestry and wood-processing industries, Juken New Zealand Ltd has taken a sustainable approach in planting, harvesting and managing timber for more than two decades. Their parent company WoodOne Ltd is based in Japan, supporting Juken in exporting their quality timber worldwide but especially to the Asian and European markets.
We spoke to Gordon Wilmshurst from JNL to discuss what’s on the horizon for this green Kiwi industry, as well as the importance of quality timber in framing and building.
The Future of Radiata Pine in New Zealand
“Internationally, New Zealand is renowned for its clean, green environmental efforts and the team at JNL have been following the same philosophy,” explains Gordon. “However, New Zealand is only geographically so big and the timber industry at the moment is booming more in terms of exporting overseas.”
In many ways, the future of timber echoes the past. Most wood exporters are exploring more efficient methods of growing good quality trees. A lot of work has gone into genetically improving the trees so they have minimal defects, therefore returning a higher value product. Radiata Pine is well suited to New Zealand growing conditions and if it’s managed well can provide sustainability long term. JNL currently harvest their pruned radiata estates on a 28-30 year rotation before processing at the production mills situated in Gisborne and Wairarapa.
“It’s a long term commitment and it takes a while to see the reward,” says Gordon. “The key is to invest time and careful environmental planning into the wood-production mills to ensure the forests are left in better shape for future generations while continuing to service markets around the world.”
Why Radiata Pine is Proving to Be Promising
JNL chooses to specialise in Radiata Pine, a fast-growing timber that is well suited to New Zealand’s climate, which can be turned around quickly and sustainably. It’s a premium product that is also in demand overseas due to its aesthetic appeal.
Radiata Pine, if dried correctly, can take on a very white natural look, giving it appeal with European importers. Its light hue suits modern white interiors and fresh Scandinavian decor. It can be used for doors, windows and flooring options.
“We use a quarter sawn cutting methods in our mills, which offers the end user a dimensionally stable product over conventional sawing methods,” notes Gordon.