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  • CarbonCrop Team

Field to Forest: Native Planting Considerations

In this webinar CarbonCrop team member Clare Leyland and special guest Adam Thompson from Restore Native, discuss the importance of planting native species and the key considerations you need to take into account when planting for the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme).

Summary of the ETS

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in New Zealand puts a price on carbon emissions. To put it simply, high emitting industries are required to pay a fee for their emissions with the ultimate goal to reduce the overall amount of carbon emissions allowed and gradually increase the cost of emissions.

Landowners can receive carbon credits (also known as NZUs) for the carbon removed by their forests. Not every tree is necessarily eligible to be entered into the ETS, for your forest to be eligible for carbon credits under the ETS it must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Minimum of 1 hectare

  • Minimum average width of 30 metres

  • Must reach a minimum of 5 metres in height

  • Must be a minimum of 30% canopy coverage

  • Must be established after 1989

Check out our blog post on ETS eligibility criteria for more information on what makes a forest eligible for carbon credits.

Thinking of planting for the ETS?

Many people believe that you must have exotic forest species to be eligible for the ETS. We’re here to tell you that this isn’t true!

Native forests can be registered for the ETS as long as they meet the criteria.

This opens up a new opportunity for landholders who have native forest on marginal land, or who are looking at planting native forest on their land.

While Radiata Pine trees earn the most credits, as it grows and sequesters carbon faster than native forest, it may not offer other benefits that a mixed native forest could offer. If you want to understand more about how much tree species could earn under the ETS you can check out our blog post here.

How can Restore Native help?

First, an introduction - Restore Native is a plant nursery based on a 175ha farm run by Adam Thompson. Through being a good custodian and discovering best practice on their own land, Restore Native has created a product that can make a difference for those looking to plant native forests at scale, while keeping at a reasonable price point.

How do they make it easy?

  • Co-funding

There’s money available to you, if you are looking at planting. Starting at the regional level through to funding from trusts, Restore Native helps you through the journey to find the right funding for you. This takes the stress and burden off you as you start your planting journey.

  • Simplicity

Keep it simple. Restore Native keeps it simple when it comes to planting. You don’t need hundreds of different species, they work with you to find the right species for your area and minimises the complexity to get success. They don’t over complicate things, to ensure you achieve the goals you want to.

  • Full service

They offer everything you need to help with your plantings. From advice on whether to retire land, to letting you know when your forest is well established.

Their service includes:

  • Planning for the right species and right place

  • Looking after the funding

  • Site preperations including spraying

  • Supply plants

  • Delivering the plants

  • Planting of your new native trees

  • Post plant care

  • Cost effective

Restore Native grow at scale to improve cost efficiencies and make it accessible for people to plant. This is what they specialise in, and they understand that these efficiencies make the difference between being able to plant 1 hectare vs 5 hectares. The better value it can be, the better it is for everyone.

What can it cost to plant with Restore Native?

Planting a forest is a real investment. While there are options available to help alleviate these costs, such as funding from local councils, there will likely still be an initial financial outlay. So what can you expect to pay?

Planting Method

Cost Per Tree (approximate)

Number of Trees (per hectare)

Total Cost

(per hectare)

Traditional Mixed Vegetation Approach




Restore Native's Mixed Vegetation Approach




Restore Native's Large Scale & Carbon Approach

$4 - $8



*note these numbers may vary and are only an indication.


Planting marginal land, or wet areas, provides benefits to your land without being entered for carbon credits. If you're looking to plant for carbon credits, get in touch with Adam at Restore Native.

Already planted your land? Want to discover what you've got, and what it's worth, for free? Apply for a free land assessment from CarbonCrop today.

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