Silviculture – valuable work, valuable people

Fiona’s blog

Silviculture workers are crucial to the success of the forest industry. However sometimes the important work they do can be over-shadowed by the harvesting end of the business.

But silviculture is where the forestry cycle starts. The planting, pruning, thinning and other work silvi crews do has a huge impact on the crop as it matures.  

Good silviculture crews set things up in a way that adds considerable value for forest managers and owners. They also ensure that things can go more smoothly at harvesting time. 

Silviculture crews do valuable work. They are people worth valuing, investing in and taking care of.

To showcase their work, Safetree teamed up with Whanganui-based company Penetito Forestry. We’ve made some videos of the work the Penetito crews do, and how they add value for the company’s clients. 

Penetito are Safetree Certified Contractors and have taken part in Safetree’s Leadership courses. So they have some great insights to offer on what makes a successful crew. Also look out for the video about one of their crew members who’s a NZ representative boxer!

Watch these videos and share them with your crews, teams and clients.  They are a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the important work being done by a key part of our industry. 

Click here to watch these silviculture videos: 

How Silvicultutre Adds Value to Forestry: The success of the forest industry begins with silviculture. This work has a big impact on the value of the crop when it matures. 

What Makes a Great Silviculture Crew: Workers from Safetree Certified Contractors Penetito Forestry talk about what makes a great crew. 

Day in the Life of a Planting Crew: Penetito Forestry shows how silviculture crews start off the forestry cycle by planting the trees. 

What’s Great About Working in Silviculture: Great scenery, being in the fresh air, and working with good people – some of the things silviculture workers like about their jobs. 

Emile Richardson: Silvi-worker, NZ Boxer: Silvi-worker and NZ representative boxer Emile Richardson talks about how working in forestry is helping him train to trial for the Olympics. 

Resources for silviculture 

Safetree has produced a set of easy to use Tailgate Cards specific to silviculture. These cover risks and issues most likely to be faced by silviculture crews.

Foremen and supervisors can use them to give workers a quick reminder of how to look after themselves and each other.

See the cards

Safety Alerts

‘Green Alert’ – Excavator blind-spot cameras 

Read this ‘Green Alert’ from Rayonier Matariki on how contractor Tohaia Forestry Harvesting have improved safety by adding reversing cameras to cabs. ‘Green Alerts’ are proactive alerts that show things businesses are doing proactively to prevent incidents. 

Read the ‘Green Alert’

UTV incident alert

Read this alert from Native Solutions about a roll-over involving a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle). It covers ‘what went right’ – the things those involved did that meant everyone walked away alive – and also the lessons learned to help prevent future roll-overs. 

Read the UTV Incident alert

Send us your Alerts

If you have an Alert or story that might help others improve please share it with us at We will then post it on our website and share it through social media. You can use our Safety Alert template if you need one.

Download the Safety Alert template (Scroll to the bottom of the Industry Alerts and Guidance section)  

Latest IRIS report: Apr-Jun 2020

Two stand out injury areas in this quarter are tree felling and getting in and out of cabs.

The most serious of these resulted in broken limbs; one from being hit by a poplar tree that had branches interlocked with the pine tree that was being felled, and one from a machine operator exiting a machine over a wind row.

In terms of ‘near hits’ the top two are log cartage and travel; issues with road conditions causing loss of traction for trucks and poor or no radio communications resulting in near collisions.

For information on controlling risks relating to driving and felling see our Tailgate Cards.

Read the IRIS Report for April-Jun 2020 

Driving to Work and at WorkFive Step Felling Plan 

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