'Leaving 300 stems kills sustainable forests'

Foresters warn: Leaving 300 stems will kill sustainable forests

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Leaving 300 stems to the hectare will kill sustainable forests say professional timber getters.

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Professional timber getters, brothers Aaron and Glen Marshall, Nanango, say leaving an increased 300 stems to the hectare will kill sustainable forests.

Professional timber getters, brothers Aaron and Glen Marshall, Nanango, say leaving an increased 300 stems to the hectare will kill sustainable forests.

NANANGO based professional timber getters, brothers Aaron and Glen Marshall say the forestry industry faces a bleak future if it is forced to leave 300 trees to the hectare.

"What's the point of locking forestry up if it is only going to become like a national park," Glen said.

"It's no secret that when there are too many trees the forestry industry is just not sustainable.

"That's no good for anyone, especially not our timber dependent communities."

Glen said at 300 stems to the hectare the trees would be competing against themselves.

Timber getters, brothers Aaron and Glen Marshall, with Sam Slack and Scott Pershouse from Slack's Hardwood.

Timber getters, brothers Aaron and Glen Marshall, with Sam Slack and Scott Pershouse from Slack's Hardwood.

"At that density they will always remain stunted and just do not have the opportunity to grow into millable timber," he said.

"Inferior trees are a consequence of poor timber management."

At present, a minimum of 150 stems at least 2m tall and 40mm in diameter must be left on each hectare.

That means getting out with a tape measure and ensuring there are at lease seven suitable stems in each 12.6m circle, or a 20th of a hectare.

The Marshall brothers also said leaving 300 stems will result in fuel loads with the potential for destructive, hot fires.

Ben Tjaden, Yarraman, hauling in logs for the mill.

Ben Tjaden, Yarraman, hauling in logs for the mill.

"Fire plays an important part of managing a sustainable forest," Aaron said.

"Leaving too many trees will also result in not enough grass growing. The grass is needed not just for cattle, but also as a way to control weeds and prevent erosion."

Aaron said if forestry wasn't burnt every three or four years, weed species including lantana and wattle had the potential to take over.

"When those weeds start to choke out the landscape, its becomes a major fire risk that can destroy everything.

RELATED STORY: 'Qld's hardwood industry fights for its very survival'.

"We're already seeing that everywhere. We need to learn from what happened over the last couple of years."

The Marshall brothers, who budget on harvesting a 100 trees each a day, are in strong demand in the timber industry.

"It's a good feeling being in a job when you know you are cutting timber in a sustainable industry," Glen said.

"If it's done right we can keep coming back to the same areas and harvest timber forever."

- The timber industry will rally against proposed changes to forestry management laws in Maryborough on Sunday, August 18.

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