Improving productivity in native forests

Private native forests are an important source of timber, providing 60% of the annual hardwood log volume to the processing industry in Queensland. Native forests provide income and also supplement livestock grazing enterprises for private landholders. The contribution of privately grown timber will need to increase to meet demand for hardwoods in the next decade, but are private native forests as productive as they could be?

Researchers at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are quantifying the variation in productivity in native forests across Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. The extensive data collection will reveal the extent of the private hardwood resource, ecological condition and the productive potential for forests with different management histories. Detailed analyses of tree growth rates, environmental conditions and economic evaluation will determine the cost-effectiveness of more efficient management practices.

The project will provide native forest managers with a decision support tool and guidelines for thinning forests to optimise productivity. Recently developed information sheets describe the condition of private native forests in south-eastern Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett, western Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.

Download the information sheets on Private native forest resource

This is a collaborative project between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Private Forestry Service Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast, Southern Cross University, the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries and sawmills, consulting with private landholders. The research is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forest and Wood Products Australia.