Research Focus




Research Focus

The ICFR is home to various platforms and projects that provide the forestry sector with important research support in tree improvement and sustainable production.

The need to balance the benefits from a forest products sector in South Africa based on wood supplied from plantations with the wider water needs of the country means the plantation resource is now on a finite and fixed land area with between the second and tenth crop being produced from most plantations. The challenge is that, with each new crop, management practices must adjust to ensure sustainable production. This means reducing the risks associated with pests and pathogens, adapting to climate change and the impact this will have on both biotic and abiotic risks (such as drought), and maintaining soil production resilience. The sustainable production research focus at the ICFR serves to meet these challenges.

Having access to planting stock that is tolerant of key pests and pathogens and can deal with drought, frost and snow events is important in achieving sustainable production. Planting choice also determines market access and yield levels achieved. For these reasons tree improvement remains a major focus for research and the ICFR continues to contribute to the improvement of wattle and eucalypt planting stock.