When it comes to the forestry industry there are a number of factors that determine success or failure. In this article we are going to focus on the growth process, profitability, and equipment used. Put down your lumberjack axe for a moment and have a read at these must-know things about tree plantations. 

What is the growth process like? 

 

Before you even begin planting them you need to establish the soil correctly, this ensures healthy root systems and promotes growth. After all, you’ll need the most amount of lumber possible. So for this stage, you’re taking a good week or so to analyse soil conditions. 

There are many stages a tree goes through, starting off from a seed, growing into a sapling, and then finally a mature tree. It doesn’t really end there though. Young trees aren’t used so much in the structural side of things, as they just aren’t big enough, but they actually still have their uses. You don’t have to wait for the trees to be fully grown to start making money. 

A typical tree plantation doesn’t cut down every tree as soon as it’s mature. This would leave no trees in the plantation and a business would have to start from scratch every time. It’s also quite damaging to the local wildlife, as their entire habitat would be removed in one shot. Normally, only some trees are harvested to allow the other trees to grow larger. These harvested trees are broken down using tub grinders or horizontal grinders to make mulch and pulp – the sort you would find in chipboard, office desks, and playground wood chips. 

As the leftover trees grow, the space around them will become smaller and the nutrients in the ground will scarsen. Some more trees will have to be harvested in order to leave space and nutrients to the remaining ones. Trees at this stage are perfect for structural uses, buildings, supports and the like. 

Finally, the remaining trees that are at the peak of their maturity are harvested. These are the big money trees, whose timber can be sold at a premium price. 

Which tree plantation is profitable? 

 

There are hundreds of different tree types that can make you a profit, but when starting out in this industry it’s best to choose the one that will give you the highest returns. Usually, the most profitable and lucrative tree species would be pine. 

Across Australia, pine trees are becoming more popular for plantations due to increasing demand. Pine is a relatively easy tree to look after compared to hardwoods. The upkeep and growth is a relatively painless process and their root systems are easily predictable, making planting projects easy to manage and plan. In addition, new growth is easily encouraged in a pine forest due to the narrow shape of the individual trees.

Pine is a softwood, which makes it perfect for easy cutting and fitting, but it still has the rigid strength required from construction. Woodworkers need to shape, cut, carve and fit a lot of wood, and they agree that pine is one of the best timbers to work with. It cuts like butter compared to other timbers, but still retains the strength required for the big jobs. Carpenters don’t need to worry much about nail splitting, as pine is more than happy to take nails without the need for pre-drilling.

If global warming is a major consideration to you, then pine plantations are an excellent choice. Pine forests are almost endlessly renewable and don’t have a heavy impact on the environment. Sometimes, they even encourage native species to nest and make homes. 

What equipment do you need? 

 

There are many machines that can be employed in the harvesting of tree plantations, but the ones you absolutely can’t do without are feller bunchers, delimbers, and grinders. 

Feller bunchers are machines with a single cutting head that are capable of gripping and cutting a tree from its base. They ensure trees harvested in a safe and efficient way, increasing productivity and reducing injuries in the workplace. Feller bunchers can also use their arm to place cut down trees in a tidy pile, ready for collection. 

Delimbers, as the name suggests, remove the limbs from logs. This tedious and previously lengthy job can now be done in a matter of seconds with a delimber. The pull-through delimber is the most popular version of the machine, which uses horizontally-mounted processors to pull through the log and delimber it. 

Grinders are crucial to ensure your business makes a profit off the smaller harvested trees and the scrap tree limbs. Tub grinders and horizontal grinders are the go-to choices for the forestry industry. They turn small trees and scrap wood, that would normally go to waste, into mulch and pulp that can be sold. 

At Vermeer WA & NT, we pride oursleves in supplying quality and durable equipment to the Asutralian forestry industry. We offer tub grinders, wood chippers, stump grinders, horizontal grinders, whole tree chippers, and much more. Call us on (08) 9479 4994 or send an email to info@vermeer-want.com.au for more information regarding our forestry and tree-care equipment.  

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