NZ Lifestyle Block

5 natives you can use for fodder


New Zealand trees did not evolve for browsing ruminants, but there are a few that are beneficial fodder trees.

NZ flax ( harakeke, Phormium tenax) makes a maintenanc­e-free shelter, plus it helps to prevent bloat and to remedy scouring. Cows, sheep, deer and goats will eat tips and strip the foliage of its tasty green parts. Broadleaf ( kāpuka, Griselinia littoralis) is highly palatable to stock and deer, reasonably fast-growing and recovers quickly from browsing. Whiteywood ( māhoe, Melicytus ramiflorus) is a small (5m), fast-growing tree that is so palatable that early farmers nicknamed it ‘cow leaf’. It was considered a valuable source of fodder, especially in droughts. Cows, horses, sheep, deer and goats love it. Five-finger ( whauwhaupa­ku, Pseudopana­x arboreus) is highly palatable to cattle (and deer, goats, possums and wallabies). Seven-finger (pate, Schefflera digitata) is similar.

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