Designing a Farm Forest / Design - balancing multiple goals /
Shelterbelts with a timber option
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Designing a Farm Forest

Shelterbelts with a timber option

It has been suggested that a conventional sheep and cattle grazing enterprise in southern Australia can increase, or at least maintain agricultural production, if up to about 10 per cent of the farm’s land is strategically planted with trees. Where the trees are best placed depends on the farm’s aspect, soil and other resources. The trees might need to be established in continuous narrow belts aligned to reduce damaging winds and in special areas for stock shelter—for example during lambing and calving or immediately after shearing. Farmers who can achieve these design criteria, and include timber species managed for high value markets, might be able to develop a valuable resource that can be harvested when needed.

The shelter benefits justify the land, fencing and other establishment costs. The additional expenses are low. They include the time spent researching possible timber markets and silvicultural options and the few hours extra management to ensure the trees produce a saleable product. The multiple values dramatically reduce the risks and costs. If, for whatever reason, the trees are unsaleable when mature, the farmer still has the shelter and other values to enjoy.

Trees for wind shelter

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