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27 football fields of forest lost every minute due to deforestation

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 14:47

The WWF estimates we’re losing 27 football fields of forest every minute due to deforestation

  • UK company Dendra plans to plant 500 billion trees by 2060 – using AI and drones.
  • The drones can plant 120 seedpods per minute.
  • The WWF estimates we’re losing 27 football fields of forest every minute due to deforestation.

A drone can plant two trees per second, according to UK tech company Dendra, which is aiming to “re-green” the planet. Dendra estimates it would take just 400 teams of two drone operators, with 10 drones per team, to plant 10 billion trees each year – and at a much lower cost than the traditional method of planting by hand. The target is to plant 500 billion trees by 2060, in often hard-to-reach places.

Susan Graham, CEO of Dendra Systems, says, “The challenge that we’re tackling is a complex one and working with a team of passionate engineers, plant scientists, drone operators, we came up with this idea to use automation and digital intelligence to plant billions of trees.”

So, how does it work? First, the replanting areas are identified using a combination of satellite images and drone-collected data. Specialized planting drones take to the skies loaded with seedpods containing a germinated seed and nutrients.

Once in position, the drones use pressurized air to fire the seeds into the ground – at 120 pods per minute. The seedpods penetrate the earth and start to grow once activated by water. Dendra estimates its technology – combining speed and accuracy – would enable governments to restore forests 150 times faster than planting by hand, and up to 10 times cheaper. Graham says it represents a new “step-change” in how we think about global ecosystem restoration.

“We need to use technology to scale up our restoration efforts, and the scale we’re talking about is tens of billions of trees every year. We’ll be able to see the ecosystems that we’ve restored from space. “There’s a saying that goes that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is today,” says Graham. “We have this opportunity now, and we need to act today.”

Source: weforum.org

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RMS announces sale of Australian forest assets

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 14:29

Resource Management Service, LLC (RMS) has announced that it has successfully completed the sale of its Tasmanian hardwood plantations to investment funds advised by Global Forest Partners LP (GFP) of Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The transaction included total productive area of 21,000 hectares on 36,500 hectares of freehold land. The assets consist of two operating units spread across the northwest, northeast and southern regions of Tasmania, and were acquired by RMS from receivers in 2014 and 2015 with a strategy of generating near-term cash yields and long-term asset appreciation for the firm’s institutional investment clients.

Funds “Our decision to monetize these assets on behalf of our clients was driven by our assessment that market conditions were attractive for a sale. We expected the market would fully value the significant work RMS has undertaken to restructure and improve the portfolio of assets”, said Craig Blair, President and CEO of RMS.

The plantations are largely stocked with Eucalyptus nitens and are located in close proximity to processing plants and ports. The output from the plantations can be sold as hardwood logs for solid wood processing and as hardwood chips. The timber grown on the properties is sold into Asian export markets, which has a strong appetite for hardwood timber products. According to Blair, selling the two Australian estates together enhanced the overall value of the offering by providing a competitive level of scale in the Tasmanian hardwood industry.

“We are pleased to have taken these plantations through a value-enhancing investment cycle for our investors,” said Blair. “Australia is an attractive destination for sophisticated institutional investors, like our clients, because it offers excellent global diversification for their forest portfolios.

The country has a robust and growing forest industry and its primary timber cultivation regions, including Tasmania, provide outstanding access to high-growth global markets. For all of these reasons, we expect to be active participants in the region’s forest investment and ownership community in the years ahead.”

Source: RMS

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Australia – Bushfires severe blow to Victoria’s timber industry

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 14:17

The recent bushfires are a fresh blow to Victoria’s timber industry, coming just weeks after the state Labor government announced the end of all native forest logging within 10 years. Sawmills in the east of the state, which had already been struggling to secure enough logs to keep their machines running, said the government’s move would put thousands of workers out of their jobs and put the future of Victoria’s timber towns in doubt.

VicForests said it could not confirm numbers but that it had lost a significant amount of its logging coupes in the area, and would be unable to assess the damage while the fires were still burning. “The East Gippsland fires have had a significant impact on VicForests’ coupes,” a spokesman said. “While the fires are ongoing, we are unable to fully assess the impact. Our current focus is on fully supporting the efforts to manage the bushfires, deploying all available VicForests staff and contractors to the region.”

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy National Secretary Michael O’Connor said the destruction of East Gippsland forest in the blazes put the state government’s transition plan into doubt. “Clearly there’s been significant damage to the resources in East Gippsland and the union will be very concerned about the consequences for employment and the viability of some mills,” Mr O’Connor said. “There will certainly be concerns for the viability of the already flawed transitions plan.”

The industry’s national lobby group, the Australian Forest Products Association, said that some of the plantation trees currently burning, those used for building products, would take 30 years to regrow. “So, when the fires are finally contained, it will be like a slow-motion train crash as the full downstream consequences are felt,” the association’s chief executive Ross Hampton said.

“Large areas of our plantation forest estate in key forestry regions in NSW, Victoria and South Australia are on fire and the downstream consequences for rural communities will be severe.”

A spokesman for Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the government was aware of significant loss of logging coupes in East Gippsland but that its immediate focus was on “extinguishing the fires and protecting life”. The Victorian timber industry group VAFI said the full extent of the damage could not yet be assessed.

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Jonathan Comber To Join The Carbotech Project Management Team

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 13:49

Pierre Lafond, head of Carbotech project management, has announced the nomination of Jon Comber to the position of Project Manager. This announcement supports the growth management plan that was put in place slightly more than a year ago.

Jon Comber will have the main task of taking charge of client projects, from equipment design to installation to implementation on production lines. He will oversee various markets including Canada, the United States and abroad.

With an undergraduate degree in engineering, Jon also has pertinent management experience in manufacturing production and various projects within the forestry industry. He has also supervised infrastructure development and production expansion for a sawmill operation in the northeastern United States over the past few years. His leadership, critical analysis and results orientation, including expertise in sawmill equipment, have convinced us that Jon is the right person to support Carbotech and their clients in numerous projects.

The entire Carbotech management team welcomes Jon Comber and wishes him great success!

About Carbotech 
For the past 30 years, Carbotech has been working in collaboration with sawmill and planing operations to install cutting-edge equipment allowing for efficient production operations and wood plank handling. Continually striving for new designs and patents, Carbotech is a partner of choice on the market thanks to solutions adapted to the needs of each client with engineering, project management, installation and after sales service with CarboCare. The company boasts over 100 employees in whom they have great confidence. Carbotech has various business partners, parts and service distribution centres as well as mechanical response units in order to cover markets around the world. 

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NZ – Money doesn’t just grow on trees … under them too

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 12:12

Ginseng, New Zealand’s next potential $1 billion export industry has roots in ancient China and is especially suited to New Zealand commercial pine forest plantations reports woodweek.com.

Globally
Ginseng is a Traditional Chinese Medicine, that promises a range of health benefits. It has been used for more than 5000 years.

Wild ginseng, grown in China and Korea attracts premium prices due to scarcity, it has a wild (knotted) appearance and high levels of active ingredients – ginsenosides.

The global supply of wild ginseng has decreased as the plant nears extinction in the wild. It is chronically over-harvested and is prone to poaching.
Farmed ginseng is grown in shade houses but is a visibly inferior product with little of the desired wild type characteristics and low concentrations of active ingredients.
Simulated Wild Ginseng is grown under a forest canopy with little or no human input – it is almost identical to premium quality wild ginseng.
Demand for ginseng is expected to increase in China as that country places greater emphasis on traditional Chinese medicines and the herb is classed as a food – traditionally, it has been classified as a medicine.

In New Zealand
KiwSeng’s ginseng grows at the same latitude south as wild ginseng grows in the Northern China and North Korea. Because KiwiSeng’s ginseng is grown naturally over 15 years with no chemical inputs and little human intervention, it can be classified as wild grown ginseng.
New Zealand wild grown ginseng is grown under a forest canopy. Managed pine forests aged from 10 to 28 years of age proving to be an ideal environment.
Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) seeds from Mt Changbai China and North American ginseng grow extremely well under radiata pine forests in the Central North Island.
Ginseng thrives in locations with cold winters, dry summers, volcanic soils and a forest canopy providing 80% shade. The NZ growing environment also has high UV index sunlight and clean water.
Wild grown ginseng plants are typically harvested by hand at a minimum of 15 years or age.
Whole roots must be carefully dug from the soil with extreme care taken not to damage any root tips.

Kiwiseng
KiwiSeng is the largest producer of wild grown ginseng in New Zealand with 80% of the national production.
The first plants were planted in the early 2000’s.
Massey University research has shown the ginsenoside content of KiwiSeng’s Panax ginseng is 100% higher than the average of the same ginseng grown in China and Korea.
KiwiSeng sells a range of products, including fresh ginseng whole roots, dried whole roots, capsules, liquid extracts, manuka honey and deer-infused products, alcoholic drinks as well as seeds and plants for other growers.
Products are sold mainly in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
KiwiSeng’s ginseng is certified organic for export to several countries.

Financials
At a minimum of $2,000 per kg, wild-grown New Zealand ginseng is one of the most valuable crops that can be grown in New Zealand. Revenues over $400,000 per hectare are possible. Inputs are around $80,000 per hectare.
High quality wild-grown ginseng (15+ years old) from New Zealand can fetch prices per kg many times higher and greater revenue per hectare.
Revenue from ginseng growing in planted forest can be substantially higher than from the trees themselves.
Wild-grown ginseng is very complementary to traditional forestry operations and can be grown after the tree crop is thinned and before tree harvest age.
Forest landowners should at least consider ginseng as an understory crop in their forestry plantations. This becomes an extremely attractive option under carbon forestry.

See more at www.kiwiseng.nz
Photo: Glen Chen from KiwiSeng examines a freshly harvested 15-year old ginseng root grown in a Central North Island forest.

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AUSTimber2020 Rescheduled to November

Fri, 17/01/2020 - 13:08

The response and recovery efforts to the bushfire crisis are significant and many people and businesses from our timber industry have been directly affected or are working tirelessly to support communities and regions across Australia.

The Australian Forest Contractor Association’s General Manager Stacey Gardiner said “the bushfire crisis will have a lasting impact on our industry and should be the focus over the coming months, as a result we have decided to reschedule AUSTimber2020 until November.”

Ms Gardiner added “AUSTimber is hosted in the central part of the Gippsland region and while we have been fortunate to remain safe, our concentrated support and thoughts continue to be with the communities and areas within our region and across Australia who have suffered loss and are continuing their bushfire fighting efforts.”

AUSTimber Site Manager, Mr Travis Healey said “Our focus is like many in our industry, we are sending our work crews and equipment where they are needed to support communities impacted by the devastating bushfires” Mr Healey, added “We were assisting the firefighting efforts in Queensland and now all of our crews are in north east and south west of Victoria.”

The decision to reschedule AUSTimber2020 required careful consideration of the impact on commitments already in place for the show, including to regional tourism businesses. However, ultimately the AFCA Board and the Planning Committee concluded that rescheduling would enable our timber industry to continue supporting bushfire response, recovery and salvage efforts in the coming months.

AUSTimber Coordinator, Ms Dionne Olsen said “AUSTimber is the largest timber industry show in the southern hemisphere and we have already commenced planning to facilitate a seamless transition to the future show in November.” Ms Olsen added “All tickets which have already been purchased will be honoured in November and the program remains unchanged for the new dates.”

“We also want to recognise and thank our supporters, exhibitors and partners for their positive and proactive response to the decision to reschedule the show” said Ms Olsen. Ms Olsen added “It is their commitment to the success of the show in November that means our communities will still have the opportunity to benefit from over 10,000 national and international attendees visiting Gippsland.”

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Ence opens its new biomass generation plant in Puertollano, Spain

Wed, 15/01/2020 - 11:49

Ence opened in Puertollano, Spain its new renewable energy generation plant with low emission biomass of 50 MW, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.

The new 50 MW biomass generation plant is a clear example of a just energy transition, contributing very positively to the environment. In fact, it stands out for its high generation of direct, indirect and induced employment (about 27 jobs per installed MW). It will produce an estimated 325,000 MWh / year, equivalent to the energy needs of more than 60,000 people. To do this, it will consume around 238,000 tons / year of biomass, among which is pomace, vine shoots and shoots, olive leaf, and woody forest and agricultural remains.

All of this biomass will comply with the Decalogue of Ence for the Sustainability of Biomass as a Fuel, a pioneering initiative in the Spanish company launched to guarantee its commitment to sustainability in the use of biomass and the care of the environment in the use from this renewable energy source. In addition, the activity of the Puertollano plant will allow a strong reduction in the uncontrolled burning of agricultural stubble – which has a high environmental impact -, while contributing to the maintenance of more than 1,300 direct, indirect and indirect jobs, induced, most of them in rural areas. These jobs will be added to the 500 direct jobs generated by the plant during its construction.

Ence has made an investment of about Euro 100 million in its new plant that has the Best Available Techniques to guarantee a permanent respect for the environment and the highest levels of energy efficiency in such an installation.

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Softree Technical Systems Releases RoadEng 9

Wed, 15/01/2020 - 11:35

Softree Technical Systems Inc., a world leader in forest road and engineering software, announced the release of RoadEng Version 9.  This updated version offers a variety of new features for planning cable harvesting operations. (Vancouver January 9, 2020)

Cable harvest planning and analysis using RoadEng 9 can help determine landing locations and road infrastructure.  Working off of a high-resolution digital terrain model (such as LiDAR), users can simultaneously explore multiple areas for deflection for cable harvesting suitability and conduct payload analysis. Harvest planners can review the potential locations in plan, profile, and in data views, allowing them to better determine optimum locations.

“We are seeing a huge increase in investments in LiDAR data across our forestry industry customers” said Erin Wasney, Business Development Manager at Softree, “Version 9 has some key improvements to enhance LiDAR-based planning of cable harvesting operations. You can now plan your roads and cable locations together in conjunction with each other.”

Improved Cable Harvesting Planning Capabilities:

  • Creation of very large digital terrain models from LiDAR.
  • Cable Analysis “Explore-Mode” with colour-coded display of areas of deflection. Simultaneously explore multiple areas for deflection / cable harvesting suitability.
  • Calculation and display of loggable area polygons.
  • Automatic calculation of tail station location.
  • Enhanced profile display for cable setups.
  • Improved field usage with GPS Integration.

RoadEng 9 runs on a Windows tablet, which means users can bring the full engineering program with them to the field. The new version also includes an easier user interface and touch gestures which makes working with RoadEng on a tablet easier than in previous versions. Furthermore, GPS integration means users can track their location in the field while visualizing their LiDAR data and planned cable harvesting locations. This makes visualization and field verification easier than ever before.

Contact:

Erin Wasney
Business Development Manager
ewasney@softree.com
604-519-6222, x. 104
SOURCE: Softree Technical Systems

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Overcome steep odds

Wed, 08/01/2020 - 14:15

The new John Deere 959ML can be factory configured for shovel-logging and directional-felling applications, making it easy to harvest logs in areas once thought impassable. Our patented leveling technology delivers exceptional stability on steep slopes, while a live heel improves control and positioning of the log. An industry-exclusive slope-monitoring system displays the total range of motion on the in-cab monitor. And a “tether-ready” field kit and four-point seat harness further help you confidently operate in tough conditions.

“Our 959ML has been a game changer for us. It is very maneuverable in the extreme conditions we work in, and its ability to reach down into a deep ravine and grab timber amazes me. Operators love the spacious cab and impressive visibility. And it delivers the same uptime, reliability, and dealer support I’ve come to expect from John Deere machines.” Andrew Johnson, owner, Wolf Lake Logging Ltd., Courtenay, British Columbia

“Our John Deere 959ML has taken a lot of the work out of hoe chucking. We log in extremely rocky conditions and on steep slopes, but the phenomenal tracking power makes it easy to get around. And with the leveling system, the 959ML is stable and comfortable. It’s a beautiful machine to run.” Rob Boyes, operator, Strongback Timber, Courtenay, British Columbia

To learn more, visit JohnDeere.com/ShovelLogger.

Wolf Lake Logging
2130 Comox Logging Road
Courtenay B.C.
V9N 9M4
Phone: 250-331-9690
Fax: 250-331-9691

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#TeamTrees

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:18

Want to help #TeamTrees get to 20 million? Get creative and help spread the word like didi_amicoimmaginario did. So far they are at 17,808,310 trees planted. To find out more go to https://teamtrees.org/

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High Capacity Shredding with Terex Ecotec’s

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 12:14
New TDS 825 Slow Speed Shredder

An industry leader in the design and manufacture of wood processing, biomass and recycling equipment, Terex Ecotec has achieved significant growth and development and today offer a comprehensive product portfolio of mobile shredding, screening, handling, separating and conveying equipment.  Continually striving to introduce new technology to the market, Terex Ecotec are delighted to launch the new TDS 825, a robust twin shaft, slow speed shredder.

Ideal for large-scale operations, this high capacity machine takes shredding to the next level and is suitable for all types of material including household waste, bulky waste, commercial waste, green waste, waste wood, tree stumps and roots.  Customisable shredding programs allow operators to configure the machine to their specific requirements, maximising production.  The hydrostatic drive offers protection against contamination and allows for bi-directional shredding, while independent gear boxes enable each shaft to be run separately, helping to reduce wrappage and improve the shredding of material.  Should a blockage occur, the shafts can be controlled via the radio remote control allowing material to be repositioned before attempting to shred again.

The double shaft shredder has 2.5m long shafts made from solid steel, with a fully welded tooth configuration giving an extremely high production rate with excellent size reduction.  Located in the centre of the chamber, directly below the shredding shafts is the replaceable breaker bar, which controls the end product size by retaining material in the chamber to aid reduction and protects the transfer belt from damage caused by large pieces of contaminants.  A number of breaker bar options are available depending on the level of reduction required, these are easily replaceable due to the side door chamber access.

Powered by a 770HP Scania V8 DC16 engine, the machine has been designed to provide operators with unrivalled levels of service access.  The high volume, tipping hopper increases the feed area providing optimum material feed and can be activated using the control panel or via the remote control.  Tipping cycle times can be configured to suit the application.  Hydraulic folding hopper extensions allows for increased capacity, preventing the infeed material from falling out especially in bulky applications.

Quick and easy set-up from ground level is guaranteed, taking a matter of minutes with no tools or working at height required.  The overband magnet providing magnetic separation is both height and angle adjustable hydraulically, and lifts up and away from the product conveyor when not in use.  All conveyors are built to a modular design allowing each one to be removed independently for ease of maintenance.

A separate transfer conveyor with a high specification belt ensures material is effectively removed from below the shredding chamber.  The product conveyor raises hydraulically and folds into maintenance mode to allow removal of the transfer conveyor.  The TDS 825 is manoeuvred via a robust tracked undercarriage, making it a great solution for difficult terrain.

The addition of the TDS 825 Slow Speed Shredder will further enhance an already significant portfolio of products offered by Terex Ecotec, meeting both market and customers’ needs.  It will be available to purchase via Terex Ecotec’s world class dealer distribution network that provide the sales and aftermarket service demanded for in the market place.

Gemma McKay, Marketing Manager, Terex Ecotec
gemma.mckay@terex.com   T: +44 (0)28 8771 8567

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New Forests appoints manager for NZ forests

Wed, 11/12/2019 - 14:36

New Forests has announced the appointment of Forest Enterprises Growth Limited (Forest Enterprises) as property manager for its New Zealand forestry assets in the Wairarapa and Southland areas. Forest Enterprises, based in Masterton, commenced its role on 1 December 2019.

Matt Wakelin, who recently joined New Forests’ Tauranga office as Manager – Operations and Investments for New Zealand, welcomed Forest Enterprises as the property manager for New Forests’ estates in Wairarapa and Southland. “With Forest Enterprises engaged to provide property management services, we are well placed for the next steps in implementing our strategic plans for these forestry estates,” Mr Wakelin said.

“New Forests continuously seeks to bolster the management of our estates by bringing sustainability into the core of forestry investment. We are confident that this new relationship with Forest Enterprises will align property management with our ongoing efforts to support and strengthen local industry and supply chains in New Zealand.”

New Forests’ Director of Operations, Matt Crapp, explained, “Forest Enterprises and New Forests share common objectives in the supply chain – to improve efficiency and safety through increased coordination and scale. We are grateful for the progress already made together with our peers in the industry, our stakeholders, and our service providers over recent years, while we anticipate a bright future for the full New Zealand forest value chain.”

Forest Enterprises’ CEO Bert Hughes looks forward to building on the existing strong relationship between the companies. “After collaborating with New Forests and forming Log Distribution Limited earlier this year, this is another great example of a partnership that will benefit both community and industry stakeholders,” Mr Hughes remarked.

“With more than 50 years’ experience in the market, we are eager to support not only New Forests’ operations but also its commitment to responsible investment and sustainable management of the land.”

Source: New Forests

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More nurseries needed to produce the sea of pines

Wed, 11/12/2019 - 14:14
The NZ Government has suggested that we should make ourselves carbon neutral by planting many millions of additional forest trees. If this is to become a reality there will be a need for new nurseries to be established to cater for the many millions of trees that will be needed.

So, now is an opportune time to remind ourselves of the need for these nurseries to ensure that their plants are well infected with the correct mycorrhizal fungi. This is particularly important if the trees are ectomycorrhizal species, for example pines, Douglas fir, and eucalypts, and are to be planted into cropping areas, grassland and scrubland where there are unlikely to be any ectomycorrhizal fungi present.

Some of you will remember the problems that were encountered in the 1980s when some nurseries failed to do this and Douglas fir planted into upland areas of Southland, Otago and Canterbury turned yellow and died. A recent chapter in a book “Commercial Inoculation of Pseudotsuga with an Ectomycorrhizal Fungus and its Consequences” written by Ian Hall, Chris Perley and colleagues reminds us of the potential problems. The chapter outlines how a new nursery established in North Otago in the mid-1990s, which was capable of producing about 10 million containerised trees, was faced with a sea of yellow Douglas fir seedlings (photo).

Preliminary studies by Ian Hall and his truffle team showed that none of the trees had any mycorrhizal fungi on their roots. In an attempt to get a quick fix, the nursery had heaped on nutrients to try to correct the problem. It turned out this was the worst thing they could have done because it made the plants unattractive to mycorrhizal fungi. If these had then been outplanted into the upland runout pasture in Southland where the plants were destined for and where there were no sources of suitable ectomycorrhizal fungi, the trees would probably have grown a little then turned yellow, become stunted and died.

So, a suitable mycorrhizal fungus was selected (Rhizopogon parksii) which was relatively easy to manipulate, a method developed for quickly inoculating all the seedlings, and providing not too much fertiliser was applied in the nursery, it was possible to ensure that the millions of seedlings were mycorrhizal, suitable for outplanting and guarantee good growth. The plantation at Gowan Hills is now more than 20 years old, the stand is even and there is no sign of yellowing.

In the discussion of the chapter the authors then delve into the vexed question regarding the replacement of our iconic grasslands with trees in those areas where forest would have covered the land before the arrival of man. They also suggest that it would have been better if the Douglas fir had been mycorrhized with fungi that produced edible mushrooms although at the time this was not an option – the forestry company simply couldn’t wait for the development of the additional technology.

However, this has now been developed so that radiata pine, Scots pine, and stone pine can be mycorrhized with the delicious saffron milk cap mushroom. Indeed, the stone pine offers the possibility of triple cropping a stand – mushrooms after a couple of years, then pine nuts and finally timber, an option that Ian and his colleagues have been working on in New Zealand, China and elsewhere for more than a decade. With a little more work, it should also be possible to inoculate Douglas fir with one of the edible North American truffles or Suillus lakei (painted bolete).

A copy of a conference paper given by Ian Hall in China last year on the production of edible mushrooms as secondary crops in plantation forests can be downloaded from Research Gate.

Source: Truffles and Mushrooms (Consulting), www.trufflesandmushrooms.co.nz

 

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Australia – Timber Queensland Board elected

Wed, 11/12/2019 - 13:26

Responding to regional opportunities and technical innovations ahead for the State’s $3.2 billion forest and timber industry, a broad representation of Directors was elected at Timber Queensland’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week, which was hosted at the ARC Future Timber Hub at the University of Queensland.

A unanimous decision by members present, elected Mr Paul Bidwell Deputy Chief Executive, Master Builders Queensland as the Chair and Mr James Hyne, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Hyne Timber, as Deputy Chair.

Timber Queensland Chair Mr Paul Bidwell said the incoming Board visited the Future Timber Hub’s structural engineering and fire laboratories where experts from industry, government, and academia are collaborating to develop the skills, knowledge and resources to foster future growth of tall timber buildings.

“Many of these projects focus on developing engineered wood products (EWPs) in future building structures. Increased use of products such as glue laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber and cross laminated timber, offer new opportunities for the construction industry to reduce environmental impact and adopt timber solutions in the building market,” said Mr Bidwell.

“We were able to see first-hand the applied research and integrated approaches to tall timber design and engineering, with many exciting applications for future housing and commercial projects.” The Future Timber Hub is an interdisciplinary partnership between the University of Queensland, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Arup, Hyne Timber, Lendlease, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, Scion NZ, Griffith University, University of British Columbia and the University of Canterbury.

Mr Bidwell said a key strength of the incoming Board was its diversity of Directors who represent the full industry supply chain from growers and processors through to traders and fabricators. “Timber Queensland provides a united, powerful voice, and this board has insight into the policy and regulatory environment, as well as the environmental, technical and market development aspects of meeting the growing demand for timber products,” he said.

The Directors elected at the 2019 AGM included:

Timber Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mick Stephens said the Board had identified some key priorities going forward in 2020, including resource security and expansion, waste management and improving regional timber supply chains.

Source: Timber Queensland

Photo: Directors present at the incoming meeting from L to R: Bob Engwirda, Adan Taylor, Craig Neale, David Simms (back row). James Hyne, Paul Bidwell (front row).

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Britons should EAT grey squirrels

Wed, 04/12/2019 - 12:05

Britons should EAT grey squirrels to keep population down and stop them killing trees, says Forestry Commission boss. Sir Harry Studholme said growing more trees is vital to curb climate change but Sir Harry said it was being hindered by the grey squirrel which strip bark. He said if other control measures fail we should cull them and use them for food.

Article featured on the Mail online by COLIN FERNANDEZ, ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 01:06, 4 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:03, 4 December 2019

Commission chairman Sir Harry Studholme, who is backing the Mail’s Be A Tree Angel Christmas campaign, said growing more trees is vital to curb climate change.

But he said it was being hindered by the grey squirrel – and if other control measures fail we should cull them and use them for food.

Squirrels damage trees by stripping bark, which can lead to deadly fungal infections.

Grey squirrels are killing trees and we should consider eating them to control numbers, according to the Forestry Commission.

‘Ring barking’ – where all the bark is removed in a circle around a trunk or branch – causes trees to die from that point up.

Sir Harry said: ‘Grey squirrels are very damaging to trees, particularly when they ring-bark oak, beech and sycamore…which can easily kill it. They make the growing of broadleaf timber in the UK virtually impossible’.

Commission chairman Sir Harry Studholme (pictured) said growing more trees is vital to curb climate change

The Forestry Commission has reintroduced a squirrel predator, the pine marten, in the Forest of Dean.

But Sir Harry said if that approach does not succeed we should eat ‘grey squirrels in London restaurants’.

Red squirrels are also known to ‘ring bark’ but to a lesser extent than greys.

There are 2.5million greys in the UK, compared to 140,000 reds, which have been killed off by a disease greys are immune to, squirrel pox.

Sir Harry told environment journal The ENDS report that another destructive species, muntjac deer, which also damages growing trees, might also be hunted for food to control numbers.

Grey squirrels are native to North America, and were first introduced to Britain in the 1870s by aristocrats for their country estates.

Our campaign – organised with the Tree Council – started on November 23 and so far readers have planted or pledged to plant more than 24,500 trees.

Currently just 13 per cent of the UK is woodland – experts say we need to increase this to help combat carbon dioxide emissions.

Would you eat a Grey squirrel? Join the conversation.

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Pilot CLT production facility for Södra in Väröbacka

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 11:51
Södra Wood has invested into a pilot plant for CLT production. The idea behind the pilot plant is to explore the different possibilities of the product and create a marketing and production strategy. As Södra operates their own saw mills the utilisation of different timber sizes and grades is also crucial.

The line has been placed in an available building on Södras industrial area (Saw mill & Pulp mill), which was completely renewed and upgraded. The size of the CLT panels is limited to 12 m x 3,0 m x 0,36 m. In the same building is installed also a CNC router to machine the ready pressed CLT elements. This is the first complete Turnkey CLT Line delivered to Sweden. After commissioning is completed the plant goes into test production.
The complete line is integrated under the X-Lam manager developed by Ledinek Engineering.
A PC based master computer system for production management, production flow control and visualization, statistics, instant information’s and production analysis tools.

Location: Väröbacka / Sweden
Project Leader: Mattias Wallman
Production Manager: Krister Norberg
Employees: 600
Species: Spruce
Operators: 3+2
Production capacity: 10,000 m³ / y

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Australian fires from space

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 11:10

This is what the unprecedented wildfires on Australia’s east coast look like from space. Around 12,000 square kilometres have burned in New South Wales and Queensland since July, an area larger than Jamaica. The fires have caused four deaths, injured more than a hundred and destroyed more than 300 homes.

And this is just the beginning of the Australia region’s usual fire season. These fires have revived the debate about the climate crisis in the country, which is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal. A dozen Australian mayors have signed a manifesto asking the government to recognise the link between the climate crisis and the fires amid this year’s extreme temperatures and drought.

“The catastrophic conditions of these fires were, at least in part, caused by climate change,” says the manifesto, signed by mayors of several towns affected by fires, such as Bellingen in the state of New South Wales and Noosa Shire in Queensland.

The Liberal-National Executive, a strong advocate for the exploitation of coal, the fossil fuel that contributes most to the climate crisis, has tried to avoid the global warming debate. Australia’s hottest summer was recorded last year, with temperatures of almost 50℃ in some parts of the territory.

The force of these fires has motivated a part of the public, politicians such as those from the Green Party and experts to ask Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to put aside the country’s ideological debates and listen to the warnings of scientists.

Morrison has refused to acknowledge the link between the climate crisis and forest fires, arguing that attention should be on victims and control of the flames. “There is a time and place to discuss controversial and important issues; it is now important to focus on the needs of Australians who need help,” he told reporters last Tuesday.

A group of more than twenty ex-chiefs of Australian firefighters has tried to meet with Morrison since April because they knew a fire crisis was coming and thought that the climate crisis is making the summer seasons be longer and more deadly.

“Climate change has ‘super-changed’ the problem,” former South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Chief Greg Mullins told reporters in Sydney, stressing that “an increase in a temperature degree implies that extremes be more extreme and put lives at risk”.

Source: www.euronews.com

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Port Of Pascagoula And Enviva Break Ground Onwood Pellet Export Terminal

Fri, 15/11/2019 - 13:52

Enviva Break Ground Onwood Pellet Export Terminal – Jackson County, Mississippi—November 7, 2019

State and local leaders and Governor Phil Bryant gathered 7th November at a ground breaking ceremony for Enviva’s new marine export terminal in the Port of Pascagoula’s Bayou Casotte Harbor. The ceremony marks the beginning of construction of the $90 million terminal.

Upon completion of construction, wood pellets produced in George County, Mississippi and other Enviva plants in its strategic asset cluster in the Gulf region will be exported through the Pascagoula Terminal to markets in Asia and Europe. Site preparation is underway and actual construction will commence in the next few weeks. Construction time for the terminal is expected to take15 months and it will be built simultaneously with Enviva’s new woodpellet production plant in Lucedale, in George County.The new Pascagoula terminal is expected to directly employ approximately 30 full-time workers and support about 150 direct and indirect jobs during construction.

When completed, the export terminal will be capable of receiving product by rail, barge, and truck. Two on-site domes will provide storage capacity for up to 90,000 metric tons of wood pellets. All handling equipment and storage facilities will be state-of-the-art. Enviva expects that the number of vessels calling the port will increase as it further develops production capacity in the region.“I am thrilled to have Enviva Biomass as a Mississippi business partner. Their work in renewable energy is vital to the global economy,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “This terminal at the Port of Pascagoula will help export wood pellets from the largest wood pellet plant in the world to markets in Asia and Europe. This project proves that Mississippi’s diversified network of infrastructure allows opportunity for companies to export products throughout the world.” “The terminal and the associated rail relocation project have received tremendous support over the years from organizations and individuals too numerous to list but entities that contributed funding deserve special mention: in addition to Enviva,the Port, in conjunction with the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Mississippi legislature, the Governor’s office, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation all contributed funds towards the terminal project.

The total investment is approximately $90million, of which Enviva will fund about $60million and the Jackson Port Authority will fund about $30million.We have also received overwhelming support from our Mississippi delegation in Washington, D.C.,” said Mark McAndrews, Port Director. Enviva’s Executive Vice President, Human Capital Nic Lane said, “Today we take a major step in helping to meet the increasing global demand for sustainable biomass fuel, and to ensure greater security of supply to our customers, particularly for the rapidly growing demand from our Asian customers. We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the top-ranking ports in the U.S., the Port of Pascagoula, a major commercial engine and key driving force in local, regional, and international economies.”The Pascagoula terminal and the Lucedale plant are an additional boost to Mississippi’s posture in the international trade arena.

Enviva joins other major industry players that have operations in the Port of Pascagoula including Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Chemours, Gulf LNG Energy, VT Halter Marine, and ST Engineering Halter Marine Offshore.

A major link in North America’s transportation system and Mississippi’s gateway to global markets, the Port of Pascagoula continually ranks as one of our nation’s top 25 ports in foreign trade. A mix of public and private terminals, all berths in the Port are located within 15 miles of the Gulf Shipping Lanes via 42 ft. deep channels.

Contact: Betty Ann WhitePort of Pascagoula
Phone:228-990-7514
cell: 228-762-4041
office Email: bwhite@portofpascagoula.com

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B.C. forestry sector scrambles to recruit tree planters

Thu, 14/11/2019 - 12:25

Tree Planters – It takes the stamina of an athlete to run up the side of a steep mountain the way Lann Dickson does. “Nothing about it is easy,” said Dickson. “A lot of people quit in the first week or two, it definitely breaks a lot of people.”

The veteran tree planter zig-zags across the mountainside in Fraser Canyon near Boston Bar, B.C., dodging stumps and branches, with 300 seedlings tucked into pouches strapped around his waist. Without losing a beat, Dickson pierces the ground with his shovel and slings a seedling into the ground. Then he’s off to the next spot he eyes several metres away.

Dickson has been tree planting in B.C. for 24 years, and skilled workers like him are in extremely high demand right now. And that’s before the ambitious campaign promises by federal parties to plant billions more trees across Canada are even factored in (Sound familiar?).

B.C. alone needs to plant an estimated 48 million more trees in 2020 than it did last year in an effort to restore massive areas burned in the province after two record-breaking wildfires, and to promote carbon sequestration.

The Western Forestry Contractors’ Association estimates the increase may be the largest leap in planting volume in the industry’s 50-year history, going from 270 million seedlings this year to as many as 318 million seedlings next year. The industry estimates it employs roughly 4,500 workers. It will require 500 to 1,000 more planters to sow all those extra seedlings next year.

“It’s going to be a challenge for sure, [with] a lot more trees coming to market this year than past years,” said Timo Scheiber, CEO of Brinkman Reforestation.

Source & Photo: ca.news.yahoo.com

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Australia – C3 secures five-year contract with FCNSW

Thu, 14/11/2019 - 11:49

C3, part of LINX Cargo Care Group, has commenced operations under a five-year softwood clearfell harvest contract with Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) in the Walcha Management Region in NSW.

This is the first contract that C3 has secured with the company and C3 is looking forward to delivering on its promise to FCNSW in Walcha and furthering the new relationship should the opportunity arise in the future.

In Australia, C3 is one of the country’s largest forest products logistics providers offering both in-field chipping and cut to length harvest and haulage solutions along with bulk and containerised export log marshalling and stevedoring services.

“We are excited and privileged to be awarded this inaugural contract with FCNSW and look forward to delivering and growing employment opportunities with them now and into the future” said Anthony Jones, Group CEO LINX Cargo Care Group.

C3’s harvesting operations have predominately focused on hardwood but the company is now moving into softwood. All operations employ sustainable plantation forestry and harvesting practises, ensuring efficient supply chains for domestic and exported products.

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by Dr. Radut