About the New Zealand Redwood Company
The New Zealand Redwood Company was formed in 2001 (as JPS) by Soper Wheeler Company of California.
Soper-Wheeler Company is still entirely owned by descendents of company founders James P. Soper and Nelson P. Wheeler, and has been in the forestry business in California for more than 100 years. The company has a strong forest stewardship ethic and is widely regarded as one of the leaders in responsible forest management in California.
After considering Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and South Africa, Soper Wheeler settled on New Zealand as the best place to expand their business. The climate and soils in New Zealand are arguably the best in the world for forestry and the Government and forest industry of New Zealand had already achieved remarkable success with producing radiata pine and Douglas fir; both species native to California. During early investigations, Soper Wheeler management discovered magnificent stands of redwood and identified that there was an abundance of land available that was ideal for growing redwood. After initially developing Douglas fir and redwood forests, NZRC made the decision to focus solely on redwood, for the following reasons.
- Redwood grows faster than Douglas fir
- There is a strong and increasing demand for redwood products
- Redwood is worth about twice as much as Douglas fir in California
- The natural range of redwood is small and without any large scale plantings anywhere in the world, future supplies of redwood are not predicted to increase significantly
NZRC has planted an area of approximately 3,000 ha mostly in coast redwood and intends to continue establishing forests in New Zealand.