The Lungs
of the World

At TAHI 8.8 million native trees have been regenerated or planted. Each one creating a stitch in the Korowai - cloak - now blanketing the landscape.

The Building Blocks
of Restoration

A native forest does not simply mean a biodiverse forest. To create a biodiverse and resilient ecosystem, it’s crucial to select the right indigenous trees - those that are best adapted to the climate, soil, wildlife and local conditions. The selection, placement and the spacing of trees and shrubs is paramount, with long-term consequences.

Keystone and Seed Dispersing
One of the primary considerations is identifying keystone species: plants, or in some cases animals, birds, or insects, that play an outsized role in the creation of a thriving, balanced ecosystem.

Critical to this process is understanding and accessing the key seed-dispensing species and then providing the essential requirements for these species to thrive; access to food, water, shelter, and a secure habitat.
Canopy Trees
In forested ecosystems, canopy trees – of which there are a limited number – fulfil this role. They are integral to providing the overall architecture and climate of the forest, and over time their growth and presence benefit everything from plants to animals to soil.
Sub-Canopy Trees
Among these smaller and faster-growing species are the sub-canopy trees, catalysts that kickstart the ecological processes and where you will find the majority of the biodiversity. These pivotal species wield disproportionate influence, nurturing the ecosystem and providing crucial resources for other inhabitants.
At the heart of this is the tree’s smallest part, the seed, dispersed across landscapes by nature’s unsung ecological heroes: birds, vertebrate animals, insects, and wind.

Forest Architecture

Strategic restoration represents a crucial element within a multi-tiered approach to ecosystem management. Instead of focusing on individual species, strategic restoration is a whole systems approach. In strategic restoration, each tree plays a pivotal role in shaping an ecosystem's resilience, functions, and services; from micro-organisms in the soil to the animals and birds that disperse seeds.

Native Biodiverse

In New Zealand, a biodiverse forest layout incorporates some 18 species of canopy tree
with a further 30-40 species of small trees, tree ferns and shrubs. To mimic nature, spacings cannot be regular.  A key species such as Pūriri can act as a nucleus around which smaller bird-preferred trees and shrubs can be planted. This approach of applied nucleation should perhaps be a first consideration.

Planted Pine

Trees are planted on a regular grid and anything else, other than pines, is ruthlessly removed.

Nature: The Ultimate Ecosystem Architect

Planting vs Natural Regeneration

At TAHI we have unlocked the regenerative power of natural ecosystems. Our birdlife acts as natural architects for their ecosystem, disseminating seedlings at 10x the rate of human plantation.


Trees Planted


Trees Regenerated

TAHI Strategic
Tree Restoration

This map shows the areas of strategic tree restoration since our project commenced in 2004. The right tree, even in isolation, can play a pivotal role in bringing biodiversity back to a small area. On a larger scale, the interaction of canopy species, keystone species and surrounding flora in strategic restoration helps form the basis of a rich tapestry of species.


Tree Species


Million Trees Planted Or Regenerated


Hectares Planted With Native Trees





Meet the architects of the forest. Our native birds are living indicators of a thriving ecosystem. Natural seed disseminators, native birds super-power our science-based restoration.