Special Feature: Firewood

From forest to fire


Ever wondered what happens to the wood you harvest that isn’t up to scratch – the rejects, the wood often left on the skid to rot away, poor-quality logs, those that don’t make the export grade? Well, much of it ends up in somebody’s fireplace, but it’s no simple journey to get there. At first glance the firewood sector may seem like forestry’s poor cousin, but it’s a thriving industry with both small- and large-scale operators. NZ Logger spoke to some of the biggest.


Christchurch-based City Firewood services a wide area, from Christchurch to Castle Hill up to Amberley and beyond. This family company began 35 years ago and was the first in NZ to start kiln drying firewood. With a staff of 25, including temporary workers, it sells over 50,000 cubic metres of firewood a year. General Manager, Robbie Harris, who took over from his father nearly four years ago, says the majority of the wood comes from managed forests in Canterbury working with names like Rayonier Matariki Forests, Laurie Forestry, Forest Management Group, Port Blakely and PF Olsen, as well as directly with logging contractors.


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