Blue gum research focuses on engineered timber, fast-tracking plantations to bolster construction shortfall

By Andrew Chounding
ABC News, Australia
February 13, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Darryl Outhwaite

Australia’s dwindling timber reserves could be exhausted in less than a decade, but industry experts are hoping a new native nursery in Western Australia could help ease the pressure. In the coastal city of Albany, 450 kilometres south of Perth, Form Forests and Environment director Darryl Outhwaite grows native Australian plants for carbon capture and revegetation projects right across the state. The bulk of his trees, however, are destined for blue gum plantations that dot the south-west landscape and feed paper pulp mills. Following the Cook government’s native logging ban, the Albany tree farmer is expanding the nursery from two to three million seedlings a year to keep up with demand, and purchased a mechanised planting machine — the first of its kind in Australia. …Increasing the domestic supply of construction timber has been in the works since 2021, with the state government earmarking 33,000 hectares to grow 50 million trees.

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