Southland has a well-established forestry industry and supports a wide range of commercial forest species.

Southland has the youngest age profile of the ten wood supply regions in New Zealand which means there is significant potential to increase harvest volumes. The region's processing infrastructure has developed as harvest volumes have increased, and now serves the industry well.

Forestry employs around 1,650 full-time equivalent workers in the Southland/Otago region. Ninety-nine per cent of wood is sourced from planted exotic forests, and 1% from natural forests, which are sustainably managed.