Update on forest operations in Tarkeeth plantations

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Harvesting of timber plantations has re-commenced in Tarkeeth State Forest, southeast of Bellingen, while site-preparation works continue ahead of tree planting to be carried out in areas harvested during 2016.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Senior Planning Manager Dean Kearney said that the harvesting operations in 2017 will be once again wholly contained in the timber plantations, which were planted on former farmland during the 1960s and 70s.

“The harvesting operations in our timber plantations are being carried out in line with the detailed plans that are available on our website,” Mr Kearney said

“Notably this year we will be implementing a restriction on hours of operating across the whole forest with harvest and haulage operations starting after 7am on weekdays as a measure to reduce noise and minimise the impact on local residents.

“Meanwhile, our tree planting team are continuing works to prepare the ground in areas we harvested last year and will be replanting more than 1000 blackbutt and tallowwood seedlings in every hectare harvested.

“Unfortunately, there have been some delays in site preparations due to a long dry spell over summer followed by heavy rains in March, which restricted our ability to work on the site. But we are used to working around the conditions that nature throws at us and we will adjust our schedule as necessary.

“In recent weeks we have finalised the burning of waste material, such as branches and off-cuts, that were left behind after the 2016 harvest to clear the site for the seedlings to be planted. In coming weeks, we will be undertaking some ground-based weed control, which will ensure the seedlings we plant get the best chance of growing to their full potential.

“The seedlings to be planted on the site are grown in our nursery in Grafton from seeds selected from regional seed sources, which include identified superior trees from the surrounding native forests and other sources like the native seed orchard located in a nearby part of Tarkeeth State Forest.

“The trees selected for seed production are the tallest and straightest trees with good timber quality, so they are perfectly adapted to the local conditions and will rapidly regrow this timber plantation.

“The seedlings, which are only around 30 centimetres tall when planted will be grown on the site for 30 to 40 years and, in that time, will develop into high value timber for future generations to harvest.

“The plantations will be a worksite during these operations, so they will be closed for the community’s safety. To ensure safety there will also be access restrictions in place for internal roads. We thank the community for continuing to pay attention to safety signage and not entering closed areas.”

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, or to view the plantation harvest plan, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au