Plantation award a family affair
THE Hurford family of Lismore is well-known in the timber sawmilling industry, thanks to their processing plants in Lismore, Casino, Tuncester and Kyogle.
The family was recently named NSW Tree Farmers of the Year by Australian Forest Growers due to their work with the recently-established native hardwood plantations at ‘Warrazambil', in the Lynches Creek area, north of Kyogle.
“The award is given each year in every state for best practice in tree growing,” Hurfords Hardwood managing director Andrew Hurford said.
“It's nice to have that acknowledgement for ourselves and our staff, who have worked hard on the property.”
Warrazambil is an 820-hectare property that was purchased by the Hurfords in 2003. It contains native hardwood forests and about 250 hectares of open grazing land.
Since 2005 the open land has been slowly turned over as timber plantations with a cross-section of species that are native to the region.
“We have focused on the main types of well-known species in the industry,” Mr Hurford said.
“People may recognise names such as blackbutt, spotted gum and blue gum to name a few.
“It's only in the lastseven years that we have started from scratch with our hardwood plantations.”
Mr Hurford said it was critical in the timber production industry to be looking at a long-term commitment to forestry plantations.
“We are always looking to improve the quality of the trees and its timber,” he said.
“We always look towards the next rotation of plantations.”
On Warrazambil, about 25,000 new eucalypt seedlings are established each year with the intention of producing high-quality hardwood plantation saw logs through species selection and active management strategies, such as early pruning, thinning and weed control, with the aim of having a sustainable rotation within 25 years.
As part of the award presentation, Hurfords are holding a field day at Warrazambil this Sunday.
The day is open to anyone interested in farming trees, is free of charge and will get under way at 10am.
There will be a morning tea and field inspections, followed by a barbeque lunch.
The award will then be presented to the Hurford family by State MP Thomas George.
Interested parties wanting to attend the field day can contact David Cameron on 6621 3634, Jenny Murray for a map and directions on 6632 1122 or visit www.afg.asn.au for further information.