Our Story

Southern Woods Nursery was established on bare land in 1987 by several investors as a specialist container producer of tree seedlings for fuelwood production (mostly eucalyptus and acacias) and shelter belts.  In 1989, the nursery was largely expanded and a wider range of tree species was grown. In 1995, the late Murray Mannall moved from managing the production to General Manager, and in 1997 he and his wife Susy purchased the business (pictured right).

Southern Woods is committed to enhancing our customer's environments, and improving the productivity of their land, by using trees. To this end, we provide free advice and on-going support, coupled with high quality trees and tree planting products. All service staff are trained in horticulture and/or tree crops and are on-hand to provide informed advice to customers. All trees are conditioned and hardened to survive potentially harsh planting sites. This dedication to quality and service has resulted in the development of strong customer relationships and a high level of referrals. We thrive on the success of our customers plantings.

The nursery is set up as a "one stop tree shop" for the rural landowner and consequently supplies trees to farmers, small block owners, foresters, councils, landscapers etc. A wide range 

of tree planting accessories such as fertiliser, stakes, pest repellents, tree protectors, tree ties, spades and herbicides are also available.

Trees are sold direct to the public through this website as well as via our catalogue, telephone, mail order and gate sales. We also sell to consultants, nurseries, landscapers and other companies that service this sector. The principal market is in Canterbury although trees are dispatched nationwide.

Currently Southern Woods employs 30 permanent staff plus a changing number of casual employees during the busy winter and spring period. A high caliber of staff is necessary to achieve a quality product and service, and all staff have relevant training and expertise to provide informed advice to customers whatever their needs. The combined plant knowledge of the business’s retail staff is more than 130 years, and they are keen to share that knowledge with customers.

The nursery currently produces well in excess of 1,000,000 trees per year of 500 species - varieties for shelter, forestry, tree crops, native revegetation, fuelwood, fodder, hedging and specimen trees.

Shelter belt trees and hedging.

This is a major 

focus of Southern Woods and consequently we offer an extensive range of shelter trees in varying grades and prices to suit all situations. Customers have access to free information brochures on how to complete a successful planting, sample planting plans and on-site visits.

NZ Natives for revegetation. The growth in this market has been exponential in the last few years. The increased interest in New Zealand natives has added another dimension to the business, with staff involved in the collection and sourcing of New Zealand native seed all over Canterbury, allowing Southern Woods to offer a large variety of eco-source plants.

Forestry. The emphasis is on the supply of elite tree stocks of specialist timber species e.g. native totara and beech, clonal redwood, clonal cypress (ovensii, leylandii etc), ground durable eucalyptus species, and is a licensed supplier of Pinus radiata under the GF PLUS scheme.

We are involved in the Tree Crops Association, NZ Plant Propagators Assn, Farm Forestry Assn. We are the main supplier for the Cancer Society for their Sunsmart Programme and the Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust Paper4Trees Project. We also sit on the Management Committee of Te ara Kakariki Greenways Trust.

The nursery is located on Main South Road, 3kms south of Templeton, Christchurch.


Winner: Selwyn District Council Enviromental Award




Southern Woods Tree Nursery is committed to improving and educating the local community on the conservation of indigenous plants and animals. Improvement is achieved via our own staff being continuously up-skilled on suitable native plant varieties for the Selwyn District, the importance of eco-sourcing and keeping accurate records that are completely transparent to all concerned. Education is achieved via free workshops, local sponsorship and donations, school competitions, networking with relevant groups for both large and small re-vegetation and the day-to-day dealings with customers.