An eye for the fu­ture: 2018 NSW Tree Farmer of the Year

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

Tony Ken­way, of Coora­bell NSW, is the win­ner of the 2018 Aus­tralian For­est Grow­ers NSW Tree Farmer of the Year award for his mixed plan­ta­tions of sub-trop­i­cal cab­i­net tim­ber species through­out the Big Scrub area of the North Coast.

The Big Scrub is an area of 75,000 hectares be­tween By­ron Bay, Lis­more and Bal­lina.

The plan­ta­tion has cre­ated quite a lot of in­ter­est and Tony’s com­pany Build­ing For­est De­signs is now re­spon­si­ble for about 220ha of cab­i­net tim­ber re­for­esta­tion across five sites within the Big Scrub area. These plant­ings demon­strate ex­cel­lence in farm plan­ning, the adop­tion of farm forestry prin­ci­ples, in­no­va­tion and lead­er­ship - all of which are crit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions for the award.

Foresters will gen­er­ally select trees of good form, rapid growth, with small branches and gen­tle ta­per. As an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised cab­i­net maker, Tony, was keen to en­sure that the species se­lected would yield high-qual­ity cab­i­net tim­bers. He also con­sulted widely with many foresters and tim­ber work­ers to fi­nalise his list.

It was de­cided that the plant­ing would be with a species mix­ture.

‘There is lit­tle in­for­ma­tion on how to de­sign a mixed species plant­ing as most large plan­ta­tions are es­tab­lished as mono­cul­tures,” Tony said.

‘There is a valid rea­son for this as all man­age­ment and records can be lim­ited to one species. How­ever, when two or more species are used, chal­lenges arise as to how to treat each in­di­vid­ual species in re­la­tion to ad­ja­cent trees and other species.

“Each species will have dif­fer­ent growth rates, canopy shapes, and wa­ter and nu­tri­ent re­quire­ments and there will be dif­fer­ences in their tol­er­ance to com­pet­ing trees and weeds.

“It is also likely that man­age­ment op­er­a­tions such as prun­ing and thin­ning will be dif­fer­ent for each species. So, it is easy to say let us have a mixed species plan­ta­tion but there will be many man­age­rial chal­lenges ahead that few will have en­coun­tered be­fore.

“I am so pleased to be awarded the NSW AFG Tree Farmer of the Year and to as­sist with the pro­mo­tion of agro­forestry. I’d like to thank Aus­tralian For­est Grow­ers for the award and the Forestry Cor­po­ra­tion of NSW for spon­sor­ing the com­pe­ti­tion,” said Tony.

Forestry Cor­po­ra­tion of NSW Dis­trict Man­ager Peter Wal­ters presents the AFG 2018 NSW Tree Farmer of the Year Award to Tony Ken­way at one of his cab­i­net tim­ber sites in the hin­ter­land near By­ron Bay.

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