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The Back Run, Integrated Farm Forestry Demonstration Site progress


22 Jun 2022

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Private Forests Tasmania hosted a small field day for Board members and invited stakeholders at the property of Tom and Sarah Clark, the Back Run in June.  The Back Run is one of PFT’s seven successful recipients of our round 1 Integrated Farm Forestry Demonstration Sites grant program to develop landscape scale best practice forestry plantings on their Ellendale and Westerway properties in the south of the state.

In 2019, the Clarks bought an adjoining property that had a large woodlot area of Eucalypt nitens on an 80ha block.  The established nitens performed badly and were not suited to the area, its altitude or soil type.  The Clarks strategically reviewed the property from a whole property plan level and identified areas where pasture belonged and areas which were better suited to commercial trees.

In 2021, the Clarks harvested the poor performing nitens and established a more durable 35-hectare Pinus radiata woodlot plantation. Another 14ha will be planted out across both their properties in July 2022 into both woodlot and shelterbelt configurations.

To date, the radiata is performing well.  37.600 open rooted seedlings sourced from Lanoma Forest Nursery were planted (1,045 stems per hectare) with a 92% survival rate, with browsing from wildlife being their biggest challenge thus far.

The Clarks are sheep, cattle and brassica seed crop producers. The woodlots and shelterbelts will provide significant benefits to their livestock production through shelter from prevailing winds and rain in winter and shade in summers intense heat.

To maximise the benefits of their trees, the Clarks have enlisted the services of Midway and Climate Friendly to potentially receive an early income from carbon farming as well as a longer-term income from their sustainable forest products at harvest time.

The Clarks have successfully lodged a project through the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator, Emissions Reduction Fund plantation methodology.

Key messaging displayed by the Back Run includes but is not limited to:

  • The importance of species selection;
  • Whole farm planning;
  • The multiple benefits of trees;
  • Carbon credits; and
  • Shelterbelts for agricultural productivity.

Click here to view the Back Run Case Study with plantation data to date.