Frequently asked questions
I have a forest, what can I do with it?
That really depends on what your objectives, time and resources are and the forest type. It would be useful to talk over the options with a Forester. We encourage you to call our free Helpline 1300 661 009.
What are my trees worth?
The amount paid to the grower by the purchaser is known as the stumpage (also called ‘royalty’). The stumpage excludes the costs for planning, harvesting and carting the forest products to a processing plant.
The stumpage will also be influenced by:
- regional market opportunities
- volume harvested
- logging and access difficulty
- cartage distance to the processor
- the product.
View more at the Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services.
How do I get my trees harvested?
The most common way for timber to be sold in Tasmania is for forest owners to negotiate with potential buyers, either directly, through a wood ‘broker’ or forest management company/forester, to achieve the best deal or most suitable arrangement for their circumstances. In the later stages of the negotiation this can involve a period of ‘sole negotiation’ with a preferred buyer.
Selling timber can be complex. It would be useful to talk over the options with a Forester.
Who will do the work for me?
Our ‘Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services’ contains a list of forest managers that can manage your forests on your behalf, including planting, silviculture, harvesting and marketing of wood.
Some managers do all roles while others do components.
What is a Forest Practices Plan?
Forest Practices Plans (FPPs) contain prescriptions and a map detailing how the planned forest practices will be conducted. FPPs must be prepared in accordance with the Forest Practices Code and must be certified by a Forest Practices Officer (FPO) before works starts.
For more information click here.
Do I need a Forest Practices Plan?
If you are a landowner planning to carry out forest operations on your land, you are required to have a FPP. An FPP is a legal requirement under the Forest Practices Act 1985 and are required for harvesting and regenerating native forest, harvesting and/or establishing plantations, clearing forests for other purposes, clearing and conversion of threatened native vegetation, constructing road and quarries for the above purposes and harvesting tree ferns.
FPP’s ensure reasonable protection of the natural and cultural values of the forest when forest practices are undertaken.
FPP’s are administered by the Forest Practices Authority (FPA) whose primary responsibility is regulating the management of forest and threatened non-forest vegetation.
Please visit the FPA website for additional information on Forest Practices Plans.
What is a Private Timber Reserve?
A PTR is an area of land set aside for forestry purposes. It is registered on the title and belongs to the title holder of the property. A PTR is land or forest used to establish forests, grow forests and to harvest forests in accordance with the Forests Practices Code. It may be an area of native forest, plantation or land intended to be planted in the near future and must be at least 5ha (12 acres) in area.
On land declared a PTR, local government approval is not required when undertaking forestry operations. A FPP would normally still be required for forestry operations on a PTR.
Additional information on PTR’s, application forms, fee’s etc. is available here.
What is the PFT Service Levy and do I have to pay this?
The Private Forest Service Levy was introduced into the Private Forests Act in 2001-02 so private forest owners seeking advice and assistance from PFT could contribute to an organisation set-up to assist their needs.
PFT receives hundreds of inquiries each year for assistance relating to a range of matters including verbal advice, field inspections, forest practices concerns, plantation management, establishment and research and development. PFT also represents the private forest owner on boards and committees for state and national forest policies including regular discussions and input to the Minister and other state and federal politicians.
It is a legal requirement to pay the service levy which is currently set at $15 per hectare of land harvested based on the forest practices plan.
The levy is payable by the owner of the land as stated on the certificate of titles.
Levy fees can be disputed but must be put in writing and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Private Forests Tasmania, PO Box 180, KINGS MEADOWS TAS 7249.
Additional information on the service levy is available here.
Who can help me establish and manage my plantation?
There are a number of silvicultural contractors who can assist you with preparing your site, planting your seedlings, pruning, thinning, vermin and weed control for timber production.
PFT’s ‘Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services’ will be able to assist you in locating a contractor within your area.
Should I revoke my Private Timber Reserve (PTR)?
A PTR belongs to the title owner of the property and the decision to revoke depends solely on the title holder.
Once harvested, you may be committed by your Forest Practices Plan (FPP) to convert your plantation area to pasture or another land use and the removal of your PTR may be appropriate. If you are committed to continuing to use your land for forestry, do not revoke your PTR.
If you are uncertain of the land use after harvest, retain your PTR and contact Private Forests Tasmania for impartial advice related to your situation.
How do I sell my wood?
You can sell your plantation wood through a ‘wood broker’ or a ‘forest management company’. PFT provides a list of wood brokers and forest management companies in our ‘Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services’.
The potential wood buyer/s will inspect your forest and provide you a written and itemised offer for each log grade, an estimate of tonnes and assessment of any roading requirements and forest practices issues.
The most important figure to look at is the ‘stumpage’, this is the amount the buyer will pay you after harvest.
Additional information on selling wood from your private forests is available here.
Should I insure my plantation?
Plantation trees are valuable and only increase in value as they grow. Plantation insurance can provide protection against fire damage, lightning, explosion and windstorms and cover can also include clean-up and re-establishment costs.
Plantation insurance is available but it is your personal decision whether you choose to insure or not.
Additional information and insurance providers details can be found under Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services.
Who do I contact concerning neighbouring forestry operations?
At times, the way in which forests are managed can impact neighbouring properties. Sharing concerns and exchanging of information between landholders and forest managers promote positive relationships and co-operation.
The Tasmanian Forest Manager’s Good Neighbour Protocol was launched in 2019 with numerous Forest Management Companies subscribing.
Additional information on the Good Neighbour Protocol is available here.
Neighbours may also contact PFT on 1300 661 009.
Can trees really benefit my livestock and crops?
Yes! Well managed shelterbelts can increase your agricultural productivity in many ways.
Trees can provide shelter for your sheep, cattle and horses which means less winter feed, faster growth rates, reduced stock losses, increased lambing and calving survival rates and reduced risk of heat exhaustion in summer.
Trees can provide less soil erosion and nutrient loss in crops, water evaporation, provide extended growing seasons and reduce damage from extreme weather conditions.
PFT has conducted extensive research trials into the benefits of trees on farms with case studies and factual information being available on our website under the infohub.
When is the best time to plant trees?
Planting in winter on cool, overcast and wind free days whilst the plants are dormant is the best time to plant trees - between June and September.
It is important to order your tree seedlings well in advance to ensure adequate stock is available when required. A list of reputable nurseries is available in PFT’s ‘Directory of Tasmanian Forestry Services’.
A simple ‘management plan’ is recommended to ensure an accurate schedule that includes ordering seedlings, site clearing, preparation, weed control, game control, fencing and fertilising.
Additional information on plantation establishment and timeframes is available here.