Just got in. Logbook says 855.3 km. I’ll put up the thumbnails temporarily placed first, then get back to the field day issues.
Ok, had to have a bath; eat; then had to sleep; then needed to work. Now i can get back to down-sizing the photos and uploading them. Just noticed that there’s a new way of handling photos on my dashboard – I have to get my head around that. If you click on the thumbnail then it should come up bigger along with a caption. You can click on the bigger picture to see it even bigger.
Family farm forestry
As Sequoia sempervirens, Thuja plicata and similar durable stable lightweight timber markets experience rising demand with tightened availability, small and medium forest growers are showing renewed interest. There is a tendency for promotors and enthusiasts to gloss over, downplay, ignore or dismiss the risks. On optimal sites each single risk may be minimal; but several such risks put together may add up to a loss of several percent of the potential crop, or potential profit. On a less than optimal site trying to grow Sequoia may be a liability. Of 10,000 acres of Sequoia planted in New Zealand around 1% established. This post touches on the problems that I’ve personally come across, and my own photos illustrate the points. (more…)
When Cupressus macrocarpa was first introduced into New Zealand it was used extensively in farm shelterbelts. Despite the lack of silvaculture, these belts produces good amounts of clear timber, even from the top logs. As high quality indigenous
timber resources progressively became depleted or locked up in nature reserves, more interest was given to growing plantations of fast growing exotics, such as macrocarpa, to replace indigenous species in the timber market. While untended shelterbelts could readily produce a relatively high percentage of clear timber, purpose planted plantations present a their own set of problems.
In 1927 a school horticultural teaching assistant left a lasting legacy at Mimi school in coastal North Taranaki, New Zealand. For over 60 years school children watched a stand of Monterey cypress grow next to the school yard. When in 1994 the School board had the trees felled to cash in the value of the logs, Jim Phillips collected seed from what he considered to be the best tree in the stand. He sowed the seed and planted the seedlings on a roadside slip on his farm. Ten years after planting the trees are up to 20m high
and 33cm dbh.
Given optimal conditions, Cupressus macrocarpa can grow 1m to 2m tall in its first season from germination. In subsequent early years it can grow another 2m to 3m in height each year until about age ten. It can also be averaging a yearly gain of 3cm to 5cm in stem diametre growth at breast height. Pruning to produce a clear pruned butt log will temporarily slow diametre growth due to reduced area of green crown. Pruning, properly done, shouldn’t slow height growth if other conditions stay optimal. Trees with 6m clear pruned butt logs with a small end diametres of 40 cm can be grown in 12 to 16 years; or 80 cm sed butts in 20 to 30 years. Add another 2 to 4 years to make sure that the heartwood potential of the stand is realised. Stand basal areas of 120 square metres to 220 m2 are achievable. Clear pruned log prices are presently around NZ$300 to NZ$ 400 per cubic metre; and clear milled and seasoned timber around NZ$1200 to NZ$3000/m3. Why are growers not achieving the potential of this species?