Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL3. More information.

Noel Maldonado Garcia

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Science)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Implications of tree management on poplar and willow pasture-tree systems

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Sustainability of pastoral hill country in New Zealand has been threatened almost since pasture establishment. The effectiveness of wide-spaced-planted poplar and willow trees for reducing shallow landslide occurrence relies mainly on the extensive root development of individual trees and root interlocking between neighbouring trees. Due to lack of management, many trees aged 30+ years have grown very large, resulting in excessive shading of understorey pasture. The large trees are also prone to breakage of branches and toppling during strong winds, potentially damaging farm infrastructure or injuring livestock. Practices like pollarding (total pruning), conducted to control tree size, require assessment of their impact on the root structure of the managed trees. Mr Maldonado Garcia's research found that pollarding caused the main disruption in roots located closest to the trunk and shallowest to the soil surface, and that after pollarding willow trees have a faster root recovery than poplar trees.

Professor Peter Kemp
Dr Ian McIvor
Dr Grant Douglas