14-15 November 2023, NEW ZEALAND | 21-22 November 2023, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA | Online Virtual

ForestTECH is Australasia’s premier forestry technology series. It’s run annually for forest resource managers, remote sensing specialists, inventory foresters, forest establishment and tree crop managers

Event Summary

Industry Meets

Another excellent turnout with well over 250 delegates attending the end of year technology series, ForestTECH 2023 run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA).  Again, the industry (resource managers, inventory foresters, data capture, mapping and GIS specialists, tree crop managers and those involved in forest establishment) really turned out in force.

As well as meeting face to face, forestry companies from across New Zealand, Australia, Chile, American Samoa, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Nepal, South Africa, USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, UK and Scotland participated either remotely or at one of the two events in the series, again reinforcing the international standing that this annual forestry technology series has.

Since 2020, the cross over between new data collection technologies for forest estate reporting and operational planning and precision forestry innovations in forest establishment, mechanised planting and tree crop management have meant that these two major themes have been combined into the one single event.

This same split, was again used very effectively for ForestTECH 2023.  In addition to the conference, exhibitions and four pre-and post-conference workshops were run for the on-site delegates as well as a remote sensing cluster group meeting that ran before the NZ leg of ForestTECH 2023.

Key Learnings

Mechanised Establishment & Silviculture

  •  Lessons from two planting seasons in Victoria using a fully mechanised planting operation.  Results, lessons and payback from a forest owner’s and contractor’s perspective
  • A new concept in mechanised planting.  Results from the first Australasian trials by Pan Pac Forest Products using the Swedish-designed and produced PlantMax mechanised planter
  • Results from operational trials using remote-controlled mechanised tree pruning
  • Using smartphone and drone collected data to improve the quality and productivity of Chilean mechanised thinning operations
  • Using vertical farming systems (growing crops in vertically stacked layers) to meet ambitious planting targets

Forest Inventory/Remote Sensing/Data Capture

  •  Pre-assessment thinning inventory using drone-based LiDAR
  •  Monitoring forest estates for fast assessment and recovery from fire, storm or disease
  •  High-value, low-cost satellite imagery options available to AU/NZ foresters
  •  Australasian designed and built solar-powered stratospheric aircraft a game-changer for collecting frequent, high-resolution aerial data
  •  The current state of satellite information in forestry – how collected data is travelling the globe
  •  Operational use of drone-based LiDAR for pre-harvest inventories in eucalyptus plantations

Student Competition

And this year for the first time, a student’s competition was set up for the NZ leg of the ForestTECH 2023 series by Tools for Foresters, the Forest Industry Engineering Association and Forest Growers Research.  It built on the ongoing interest being shown over recent years in using UAV’s for collecting detailed data for tree crop management and for operational planning.

Three students from the University of Canterbury and Toi Ohomai undertook their own research projects on different methods for conducting tree survival surveys using UAVs.  The reports from each of the students was assessed by an industry panel before ForestTECH 2023 with a final presentation and grading, live, given by Rotorua conference delegates on Tuesday 14 November.  All three students also expanded on their data capture methodology as part of the post-conference industry workshop run on day two of the event. <br><br>

The prize for the best project was an amazing DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise, the very latest generation in portable drones for land and resource management valued at NZ$7,000 kindly donated by Ferntech, drone specialists in New Zealand.  Congratulations to the winner, Whanarua Edmonds and the two finalists, Jake Emmens and Blake Singleton.  Click here for a more detailed writeup of the inaugural competition on Scion's website.

ForestTECH 2024?

Yes, plans are to run ForestTECH 2024 in November 2024.  Support to continue this major forest technology event, which has been run annually since 2007, was overwhelmingly given by this year’s delegates, sponsors and exhibitors.

Interested in presenting in 2024? 

If you, or one of your colleagues, is interested in presenting in 2024, please forward details to We would especially like to hear about your own recent trials or the integration of research operationally into your forest operations. If you are willing to share to a wider audience, lessons from the roll-out of new technology or smart operating practices, then we’d like to hear from you. 

Photo Gallery

Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities

ForestTECH offers a tremendous opportunity for companies involved in developing innovative forest management tools, technologies and resources to maximise their exposure to New Zealand and Australia’s leading forestry companies.

FIEA has a well-deserved reputation of providing both sponsors with a unique platform for promoting their products and services to the industry, BOTH in New Zealand and Australia.

Our sponsors and partners can also benefit from exposure in which is providing monthly communication and technology updates to well over 6,000 forest resource and tree crop managers and inventory foresters from across Australasia.

Sponsorship and branding opportunities are also available for other Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) events and in the region’s most widely read weekly e-newsletter, Friday Offcuts.

For a full range of sponsorship, exhibition and branding options, please contact Gordon Thomson, Marketing & Sponsorship Manager, (+64) 7 921 1384 or (+64) 27 275 8022,

Premium Event Sponsor

Featured image for “Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service”

Event Sponsors

Featured image for “4D Global”
Featured image for “Eagle Technology”
Featured image for “FWPA”
Featured image for “Swift Geospatial”
Featured image for “Vadis Geomatics”
Featured image for “Wood Industry Development and Education Trust”
Featured image for “TerraLab | STA”
Featured image for “Remsoft”
Featured image for “Trimble Forestry”
Featured image for “Atlas Integral”
Featured image for “Logrithm”
Featured image for “Ferntech”
Featured image for “Interpine”
Featured image for “TreeCoin Assets”
Featured image for “Abley”
Featured image for “Forestry Corporation NSW”
Featured image for “Aerometrex”
Featured image for “Locus”
Featured image for “Scion”

FIEA Partners

Featured image for “USNR”
Featured image for “Atlas Integral”
Featured image for “Rotorua Economic Development”
Featured image for “Arxada (formally Lonza)”
Featured image for “Trimble Forestry”
Featured image for “NZ Logger”
Featured image for “C3”
Featured image for “Holtec”
Featured image for “Remsoft”
Featured image for “Key Knife / Braford Industries”
Featured image for “Scion”
Featured image for “Eagle Technology”
Featured image for “FWPA”

Media Partners

Featured image for “ForestTECH News”
Featured image for “Friday Offcuts”
Featured image for “NZ Logger”