June 2013 Field Day

Judy, Annabel and James gave a very interesting presentation of the work carried out on Judy’s property near Dungog of 250 acres.  The property was bought in 2009 and Judy’s aim was to increase its biodiversity and conservation values as well as build a home, cabins, solar array and dam.  The house was architecturally designed by a HHFN member (Peter Brecknock) and made use of existing logs and timbers to good effect. An aerial photo taken in the early 1950’s showed that the land was substantially cleared, presumably for logging timber.   However, it now has a good mix of regrowth such as iron bark, spotted gum, grey box, white mahogany, and stringy bark trees which now need management as the basal area is over 25.   After talks about the aims and methods of silviculture, we were taken to a site below the house where trees have been thinned: Annabel demonstrated how to poison the ‘loser’ trees and discussed which trees should be preserved.  The same site was used to look at felled logs with defects to be sold for fire wood: the value of selling them might be $100 per cubic metre less $50 for removal, sawing, splitting, etc. One of the major problems with the forest was the abundance of lantana.  After much hand pulling by Judy, two grants from the CMA and The Great Eastern Ranges were obtained to subsidise employing contractors with splatter guns to speed up the removal of the weed.  Judy also demonstrated the use of her splatter gun. During the lunch break, Judy’s builder gave an interesting talk on straw bale construction, a method employed to build the bedrooms, cabins and wine cellar. The question that is often raised is: can biodiversity and conservation co-exist with timber production?  This property showed how it could be done.

Annabel using a hatchet and poison to kill a deformed tree

HFFN June 2013

Hunter Farm Forestry Network (HFFN) facilitates the exchange of information about farm forestry and promotes the productive and sustainable use of trees on farms in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia.

Farm Forestry takes many forms including timber belts, windbreaks, revegetation projects and timber production

Farm forestry includes  commercial trees and shrubs incorporated into farm operations.

Farm Forestry improves agricultural productivity.

It’s about which tree you want, for the purpose that you want.