Top-end timber

26 May, 2004 10:00 PM
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CALM forester Michael Power is involved in a project on Tony and Alison Smith's property, which aims to produce timbers for the high-priced end of the timber market.

"It's based on CALM's 20 years of research into obtaining quality timber from the eucalypt species," Mr Power said. "We aim to grow here knot free clear wood timbers.

ìIn planning your own timber lot you need to match the species to the clients, soil type and rainfall. Is the soil light or loam? Is the timber marketable at a profit?"

Mr Power said the demand for quality furniture and quality timber is low, but is increasing. He said in a planting of 1000 trees about one in a 100 may make suitable saw logs. He said the control of Twenty-eight parrots is essential, as timber sap is a feed source for the large population of these birds. "In autumn-winter these parrots attack the growing tips and deform the tree ñ and crooked trees won't go through the debarking machine."

Mr Power added gave more advice to specialist tree growers: "When pruning young trees we never prune beyond half the tree's height.

ìTry to have a monitoring plot of about 40 trees which you regularly measure for growth and check for faults such as bird damage.î

Mr Powers expects to have 20,000ha of quality saw log timber planted and growing during the next 15-20 years. This supply will replace native tree logging and lift bio-diversity levels.

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