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Small holdings tree farm advice released

30 July 2023

The final report of the Trials Review, Information and Genetics (TRIG) project, has been released along with advisory information and updated data. According to TRIG Steering Committee Chair, Dr Kevin Harding, the project sought to leverage the past work of Victoria’s farm forestry sector by accessing legacy information and datasets to ultimately deliver new, updated tools and information for the next generation of farm forestry plantings.

“Victoria has a proud legacy of extensive farm forestry trials and research established during the 1980s through to the early 2000s,” Dr Harding said. Dr Harding said farmers and small private forest growers need to maximise the quality of trees that they integrate into their farm plantings or investment plantations if they are to grow commercially competitive trees.

“To grow the best quality trees farmers and foresters need to be informed on the genetic quality of the stock they source and use, as well as its likely performance in their planting region. Performance tends to be dictated by species, provenance (where it comes from) and inherent genetics like frost resistance and drought tolerance and stem straightness, desirable branching habit and tree vigour”.

“To assist farmers and tree growers the TRIG project has captured the learnings from past programs and repackaged the information so its current and accessible and also able to be interrogated using interactive web tools. “The program also identified sources of seed with the highest genetic quality for key species that have grown well in this State to ensure future plantings can be established with high quality tree stock”.

PF Olsen was appointed as project manager and on behalf of the TRIG Steering Committee engaged with farm forestry groups, indigenous groups, forestry consultants, CSIRO, and the Victorian Government to learn more about these historical trials and what information from these trials can support the expansion of trees on farms in Victoria.

Further outcomes from the project included:

• The development of productivity maps of two key species (Eucalyptus cladocalyx and Corymbia maculate) which will be made available via an interactive web portal on the Forestry Australia webpage.
• Analysis into the potential for forest forestry plantings to access carbon markets in Australia.
• The identification of a series of model plantings to be highlighted as demonstration sites, with some case studies published in the report.
• An overview of the opportunities and barriers to access existing and new sources of improved seed for a key suite of farm forestry species

The TRIG project was designed in consultation with Farm Forest Growers Victoria, with funding provided by the Australian Government, and delivered via the Victorian Government’s Department of Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA). Forestry Australia, in its project oversight role, engaged PF Olsen to project manage and deliver the TRIG Project.

To read the final report and review the data, click HERE

Source: Forestry Australia

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