Pines Nearly Gone
The Pine plantation at Stockyard Creek has nearly gone.
The area is being harvested by owners, Hancock Timber Resource Group (HVP), based in Boston USA.
Locals know the plantation as "the Doctor's", part of an investment scheme by a medical doctor, the original area being planted in the mid 1970's.
The holding was acquired by the Labour Government and in 1988 following considerable controversy, the area was extended and a large area of additional Pinus radiata planted by local employees headed up by Ernie Cole. Forest density of the plantings was around 1100-1300 stems per ha but thinning has been conducted over the past 28 years to promote growth.
Pine trees grow quickly and in good conditions can double in volume every 7 years, the average height of the Stockyard plantation is around 30 metres. The estate will yield about 75,000 cubic metres of timber.
The plantation escaped bush fires but not an invasion of the sirex woodwasp in the early 1990s that potentially retards and eventually causes tree death. The solution was the injection of another parasite nematode into the tree.
Log trucks are taking the timber to three different mills. Norske Skog at Albury is taking logs for Australian newsprint, the remainder destined for medium density fibre board at Wangaratta and sawlogs to Tumbarumba.
Once the area has been denuded preparation will take place for new plantings at the end of 2017.