ForestTECH 2020 Programme


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Innovations in Forest Establishment, Planting & Mechanised Silviculture
Timezone: NZDT

Welcome & Introduction


Session 1: Precision Planting Innovations With Mechanised & Automated Planting Technologies

Forest Establishment & Silviculture

What’s changed in the last 50 years and opportunities for increased mechanisation

Tony O’Hara, GM Forest Resources, HVP Plantations (live remote)


CNI planting trials with the mechanised M-Planter

A viable alternative to traditional manual planting. Lessons from early trials.

Henry Fear, Henry Fear Contracting & Ben Dixon, Tree Crop Operations Manager, Timberlands Ltd (live)


Field Evaluation of Mechanised Planting of Radiata Pine in NSW

Mike Sutton, Manager, Innovation & Research, Forestry Corporation NSW, Australia (live remote)


Mechanised Scarification, Mounding and Planting Systems from Sweden

Klas-Håkan Ljungberg, CEO, Bracke Forest AB, Sweden (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Precision Planting. A New GPS system providing traceability of the tree crop for forest managers

Henry Fear, Henry Fear Contracting (live)


Precision Mechanised Soil Cultivation, Fertilisation and Planting

Henri Syvanen, Sales Manager, Risutec, Finland (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Lunch & Networking

Session 2: Precision Planting - Applications & Early Trial Results with Drone-Based Seed Planting Technologies

Drone Planting and Reforestation Options

Results and lessons from recent in-forest trials

Matthew Agahai, Director of Research & Development, DroneSeed, USA (live remote)


Operational Drone Deliveries of Tree Seedlings

Trial results from the 2019-2020 planting seasons.  How does it stack up?

Dave Herries, GM, Interpine (live)


Planting with Drones - Using technology and science to realise large ecological restoration projects

Andrew Walker, Co-Founder and Mechanical Engineer, AirSeed Technologies, Australia (live remote)


TECH Showcase

Short presentations on new product innovations


Afternoon Tea & Networking

Session 3: Every Seedling Counts - Technology Advancements for Post Planting Survival Assessments


Advanced Deep Learning for Forestry Remote Sensing

Grant Pearse, Geomatics Scientist, Scion (live)


Every Seedling Counts - New high precision digital mapping tools for post planting seedling survival, weed mapping and vitality measurements

Albrecht von Ruffer, CEO, Skylab GmbH, Germany (pre-recorded plus live Q&A) / Rob Hanssen, Technical Forester, Green Triangle Forest Products, Australia (Live Remote)


Ultra-high-Resolution Satellite Imagery for Tree Counting before Canopy Closure

Results from operational trials

Michael Breetzke, Director & Co-Founder, Swift Geospatial, South Africa (pre-recorded plus live Q&A)


Panel Discussion & Questions: Live link to international presenters (earlier pre-recorded presentations) on mechanical planting technologies

  • Michael Breetzke, Director & Co-Founder, Swift Geospatial, South Africa
  • Albrecht von Ruffer, CEO, Skylab GmbH, Germany
  • Klas-Håkan Ljungberg, CEO, Bracke Forest AB, Sweden
  • Markus Vihottula, Deputy CEO, Risutec, Finland


Mechanisation Opportunities in Forest Establishment & Silviculture - Future directions and research priorities

Russell Dale, Forest Growers Research / Mike Baker, Technical Forester, Hancock Forest Management (live)


Drinks, Refreshments & Networking for NZ delegates


Thursday 19 November 2020

Innovations in Remote Sensing & Data Capture Technologies - Application in the Forest

Timezone: NZDT


Welcome & Introduction



Combining Remote Sensing & Analytics Technologies

Advances being made in satellite imagery and operational deployment in forestry operations

Tara O’Shea, Director of Forest Programs, Planet, USA (live remote)


Innovations in Forest Inventory

High quality data collection under canopy and VR results using the mobile LiDAR mapping solution, Hovermap

Dave Herries, GM, Interpine (live) 

Session 1: Advancements in Remote Sensing & Data Capture Technologies - Application in the Forest


A New Era of Reliable Forest Inventory

Comprehensive, consistent, reliable, and scalable forest inventory at high resolution

Dr. Ian Moss, Inventory Design Specialist, High Resolution Inventory Solutions (HRIS), Canada (live remote)


TECH Showcase

Short presentations on new product innovations


Making Data Meaningful in the Digital Forest

Australasian case studies demonstrating remote data collection and analysis using in-forest sensors

Jamie Lawrence, Business Development Manager, Indicium Dynamics, Australia (live remote)


Lunch & Networking


Tracking Forest Growth Rates in Real Time

A system of in-forest wireless sensors developed by an award-winning Brazilian forestry technology start-up

Esthevan Gasparoto, Chief Executive Officer, Treevia, Brazil (live remote)


Getting to the point: How accurate are photogrammetric and UAV LiDAR point clouds for measuring the height of young trees

Assessing the accuracy of UAV-derived point clouds, and a look at some of the variables that affect this

Robin Hartley, Manager UAV Operations and Geospatial Scientist, Scion (live)

Session 2: Transforming Geospatial Data into Knowledge - The Practical Application & Operational Use of Remote sensing Data


Forest Scale Phenotyping

Inferring Silviculture x Genetics x Environment Interactions through Big Data

Simon Papps, Resource Planner, Hancock Forest Management (live)


An AU$200m Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) project

The development of a regional SBAS to radically improve the accuracy of GPS

Eldar Rubinov, SBAS Technical Manager, FrontierSI, Australia (live remote)


Detecting Nutrient Deficiencies using Hyperspectral Imagery

Results from recent trials to determine N&P deficiencies in radiata pine

Michael Watt, Research Leader – Geomatics, Scion (live)


NZ Conference Concludes

Day Two: Australian Workshop
Mechanised Planting & The Practical Application & Operational Use of Remote Sensing Data

Recent Australian Research and Operational Trials (live remote for all delegates)

Timezone: NZDT


Welcome & Introduction



Evaluating the Effectiveness of Drone Imaging Solutions

Automated detection of radiata seedlings using drone (standard RGB, hyperspectral and multispectral) imagery.  Results from operational in-forest trials 

Dr Darren Turner, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Tasmania & Anthony Finn, Professor Autonomous Systems, University of South Australia, Australia (live remote)


How well can we Assess Softwood Plantations using Photogrammetric Techniques following an ALS-Independent Approach?

Irfan Iqbal, Remote Sensing Forester, Forest Products Commission, Australia (live remote)


Forest Eye - Satellite imagery analysis made easy

Caroline Schneider, Remote Sensing Developer/Analyst, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Australia (live remote)


From Plantations to Native Forests - Cutting-edge remote sensing methods for native forest management

Hans Blom, Manager Remote Sensing, Forest Products Commission, Australia (live remote)


On-line Workshop Concludes


As well as those attending the ForestTECH 2020 conference and exhibitions in Rotorua, a series of three extra workshops or meetings immediately before and after the conference are also being held.
1 | Eagle Technology workshop - Drones and ArcGIS

Where: Cards Room, Distinction Hotel Rotorua, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua

When: 10.30 and 12.30pm, Tuesday 17 November 2020

Attendees: Limited to 35 attendees

Cost: This workshop is free

This meeting will provide an updated overview of the ArcGIS platform (10.8.1) and a focus on GIS insights and location intelligence powered by drone flight data with ArcGIS. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A with our Forestry team.

Any enquiries about the workshop can be made to:

2 | Half-day Remote Sensing Cluster Group meeting

Where: Rimu Room, Scion, 49 Sala Street, Rotorua

When: 1.30 and 5.00pm, Tuesday 17 November 2020

Attendees: No limit

Cost: This workshop is free

This meeting will run the day before the ForestTECH 2020 conference. The meeting will combine recent research focussing on tree detection and forest health with a presentation around developing a sector-wide strategy to bring the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) to small and large forest growers.

The second part of the meeting will present a series of talks that launch a new working group focussed on tech transfer of UAV related research to industry. This “Tools for Foresters” Working Group, will comprise a cluster of foresters and researchers who will be able to beta-test research tools and methods, accelerating the research and tech transfer process.

The agenda for the meeting can be found using the link below. Places can be booked on-line (as part of the ForestTECH 2020 registration process) for those registering for the conference.

Click here to view the Meeting Agenda

Any enquiries about the workshop can be made to:

3 | Half-day Hovermap demo and workshop

Where: Interpine Offices, 99 Sala Street, Rotorua

When: 9.00am-12.00 noon, Friday 20 November 2020

Attendees: Limited to 20 attendees

Cost: This workshop is free

This half day workshop will cover the Hovermap LiDAR simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technology. It’s being run by Interpine and Emesent following the conference and exhibitions on the morning of Friday 20 November.

Any enquiries about the workshop can be made to: