View Full Version : Plantation questions

12th December 2010, 01:54 PM
hey guys I am was just curious on the subject of starting your own plantation. I am from the far north Queensland area (Tableands / Daintree) and I am wanting to start my own plantation of say Queensland maple, Silky Oak, Cedar and so on. How do you go about starting this up. Also these trees should be getting planted back into the environment when conservation activities take place to replace them in their existing environment like they were. I personally think it is important to maintain their existence for future generations.

Timeless Timber
25th February 2011, 01:24 PM
Rossco,I was a forester with this states conservation dept for 8 years and then a private environmental consultant for many more years - establishing a large walnut orchard for one of my clients.

I've had a lot of experience establishing Pine Plantations as well as Tassie Bluegum.

I'm not experienced with your Qld trees however.

I might be able to help you out with advice on the basic principles tho.

What condition is the ground that you wish too establish your plantation on - in now, is it ex pasture ground, or already treed etc

There's many stages too plantation establishment depending on your soil type and past use, tree requirements, weed protection, govt approvals (for firebreaks establishment) and so on and so forth!

What sort of acreage are you talking about?

Also your financial aims are important. (Are you looking at taxation implications for example?)

Let me give an example.

Some of your trees are suited too plantation - but plantations might have far different local govt rules for establishment than say an orchard.

Why might you want to develop an orchard?.....well - take those walnut trees - they are classified as a nut tree and nuts are fruits thus an orchard, not a plantation - yet walnut WOOD from mature trees, is highly valued as a plantation timber.

Why would the difference matter?

Well - a plantation might require say 20 meter wide firebreaks on all sides, while an orchard might only require a turning headland for your tractor at each end this say 5 meters wide. If you have only a small plot then that extra 30 meters of plantation width means an awful lot more trees and wood etc at the end.

Also - Walnuts take 15 odd years to mature so tax office will allow you to run at a loss for up to 15 years offsetting that against your other income all that time to minimize tax payable.

One of the big problems ,making plantations fiscally viable is the compounding effect of interest - on the final harvest profitability.

Pines for example - the first thinning gets sold for christmas trees, and the second thinning sold for wood chips & if you put those funds back into the loan to reduce principle and this interest accrual - then the final harvest remains profitable.

So you need a tree that not only suits the environment your wanting to plant in but that also fits an economic model, to make the whole thing viable in the long term.

Without a LOT of information from yourself - the answers too your questions can be pretty far reaching - I just give the above as examples of things too think about.


Bob Whitworth
18th March 2011, 07:43 PM
I have been growing platations in old rainforest sites in south east Qld for the last 30 years or so. I have mostly planted Hoop Pine but have also planted some Gympie Messmate and Qld Maple and as far as I'm concerned, there is no simple answer.I believe that I will need to buy a small one man sliding table sawmill to make it all viable and then we will see what I can actually sell for a profit. I could not make a profit from selling the logs directly to a mill. They are not really interested except in maybe the Gympie Messmate and then in only the best trees.