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What is the definition of plantation timber?

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May 18, 2022

THERE has been much discussion about the intended cessation of native timber logging by 2030, and the transition to plantations timber, but what does this mean for forests which have been logged and re-seeded? Do they count as plantation timber?

VicForests have advised that the areas that are harvested in native forest and regrow do not become plantations. This is because these areas specifically regenerate to recreate a natural forest of multiple species that supports a range of biodiversity outcomes and not a commercial tree crop.

Plantations generally are planted with just one species, primarily blue gum in Victoria, to produce a commercial tree crop for pulpwood for example, and is not managed to achieve the rich biodiversity of natural forests.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations uses the current Global Forest Resources Assessment’s (FRA) definitions for forests.

A planted forest is defined as a forest that at maturity is predominantly composed of trees established through planting and or deliberate seeding. Planted forest includes but is not limited to plantation forest.

Plantation forest is defined as an intensively managed planted forest that at maturity is composed of one or two species, has one age class, and has regular tree spacing.

Forest that is planted for ecosystem restoration or protection and forest that resembles natural forest at stand maturity is not defined as plantation forest, as per the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2020.

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