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Thinning and Harvesting

Forest Roads and Harvesting

Why thin your plantation?

If your plantation is 15 years or older, the forest premium which you have been receiving will run out soon. So, how do you maintain your income when the premium is gone? Thinning your plantation will provide periodic income tax free. Not many forest owners realise that over the rotation, the income from thinning and harvesting will dwarf forestry premiums if the plantation is managed correctly.

Forestry thinning is the removal of low value stems. This allows premium trees to increase in volume in a shorter period of time while also developing into valuable timber and other wood products. It is a vital part of plantation management and increases profitability in the long term. Thinning provides intermediate income at 3-5 years intervals.

When should I thin my forest?

It is essential that thinning is carried out at the right time to maximise income and this can start as early as 15 years with certain species. Income from first thinning is low in value, however as the plantation matures, the income from subsequent thinnings substantially increases. The majority of income is secured at the end of rotation when the crop is clear-felled.

Forest Roads

Before thinning it is necessary to construct a harvesting road into the plantation to facilitate the extraction of timber. The Forest Service provides grant aid for this investment.

To see if your plantation is ready for thinning why not try our Forestry Thinning tool? The thinning tool will tell you if your plantation is ready for thinning and what to do next.

Remember the key benefits of Roading and Thinning are:

• Thinning will provide you with an income after your forest premiums ends

• Income earned from timber free from income tax

• It will increases the asset value of your plantation

• Improves the accessibility and quality of your plantation