Timber harvesting and processing on the Bambra Agroforestry Farm
Sustainable wood from multipurpose farm trees
After 35 years of tree growing we are now harvesting logs from a range of species, milling them on our bandsaw and drying the timber in our solar kiln (www.solarkilns.com.au). Whilst the volumes are low we have reached the point where we have a perpetual forest from which we can continuously harvest and process as many as 50 trees a year, every year, forever.
The act of producing timber from trees planted on cleared farmland on a continuous basis locks up carbon more effectively than simply planting the trees and letting them grow. Carbon in standing forests reaches a natural limit based on the species and site conditions, and the carbon is always at risk of being lost back to the atmosphere as the result of fire or death.
Locking the carbon in timber for the long term allows more carbon to be stored over time. Rather than just being a carbon 'sink' the forest becomes a carbon 'factory'.
To illustrate: this block of our farm-grown Blue Gum stores as much carbon dioxide as can fit in this beach ball.
Harvesting and milling
We use a remote controlled logging winch on the tractor to help selectively harvest and extract individual trees and drag them up to the mill.
This footage was part of our feature on Gardening Australia (ABC TV) in 2021. You can watch the whole segment (10min) HERE
We have been milling our logs on a Norwood Lumbermate but hope to upgrade to a larger mill in the near future
We have sold timber to furniture makers and for veneer. Privately we are using the timber in our family furniture
Below are some of the products.
I made this table from a mountain ash (E. regnans) we planted back in 1987.
Harvested and milled with our bandsaw in 2012. Air dried for 2 years. Lots of Kino due to drought
We sold a cubic metre of our sawn and dried Otway Messmate to Mark Tuckey furniture. They made a number of tables and beds including this one:
In 2010 we sold 10 Shining Gum trees to Fethers Veneer in Melbourne. Some ended up on the walls and ceiling of this basketball court:
We are also using our own timber to frame our new house:
This section of frame includes our F17 Hardwood (Blue Gum and Shining Gum) and F7 Softwood (Pinus radiata)