Converting a plantation resource from pulp and paper to sawn timber products Mihalcheon, Christopher J.
Plantation forestry is a significant forest resource for the Australian forest product industry. In recent years, the amount of native and regrowth forests allowed for harvest have been significantly reduced, so plantation sourced material will need to be harvested in order to make up for this shortfall. As the majority of plantations (83%) are bred and managed for pulp production, there are concerns over whether this resource can be properly utilized for production of sawn timber products. Issues such as internal check in Eucalyptus nitens, and growth stresses in Eucalyptus globulus, make using this plantation resource extremely difficult when not processed into wood chips. Every year the amount of plantation fibre available for the pulp and paper industry increases, which has been driving down the prices of pulp. This price increase has caused many plantation owners to shift to managing their plantations for sawn timber products, a market which gives a higher return over the pulp market. In order to successfully utilize a pulp and paper resource for sawn timber products, pruning, thinning and other silvicultural regimes need to be initiated within the first five years of the stands growth in order to significantly increase the wood quality of the stand.
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