Forest production

Industry challenges

Plantation managers need access to fast-growing tree species that are adapted to drought and clarity about management effects on forest growth and carbon balance. The timber construction industries need forests to produce high-quality, graded, structural timber products with improved wood properties.

Our response

Improving softwood plantation wood quality to produce fit-for-purpose wood fibre

Non-destructive wood screening tools enable us to characterise variation in wood properties in standing trees. We apply these tools to predict wood quality, to select superior trees for breeding programs and to evaluate the pine plantation resource at young ages.

Improved plantation tree varieties

Our tree improvement program selected superior tree varieties with better growth, disease resistance and wood quality traits to improve plantations and sustain high-value wood production. We have captured improved stock in seed orchards for most commercial trees in northern Australia that could contribute to the future expansion of plantation hardwoods.

Increasing productivity in sustainably-managed native forests

Detailed measurements of forest biomass, enable us to validate model estimates of carbon stocks. We combine expertise in forest dynamics and management to understand productivity and carbon sequestration potential in Queensland’s native forests.

Developing support systems for managing sustainable, productive forests

Our extensive research database supports rapid assessments of potential forest and tree performance in space and time. Our tree performance analysis and decision support tools are based on growth, environment and management data from 30 000 plantation experimental plots and more than 1 500 experimental plots for native forest yield.

Case studies

‘Virtual logs’ improve returns from Southern pine plantations This research shows how innovative technologies and computer-generated ‘virtual logs’ can ‘predict’ wood quality in standing trees, increasing efficiency in harvest strategy and down-stream processing.

Improving productivity in native forests Detailed analyses of tree growth rates, environmental conditions and economic evaluation will determine the cost-effectiveness of more efficient management practices in privately-owned native forests.