Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Timberrr! Look out for the new forestry biosecurity manual

August 5, 2015

Biosecurity Manual for the Plantation Timber IndustryA new biosecurity manual for producers of plantation timber has been released, highlighting simple plantation biosecurity practices that will help you to keep your property or plantation free from new pests and diseases.

Alison Saunders, Manager for Biosecurity Planning and Implementation at Plant Health Australia, says that although the manual is designed to be used by foresters, contractors, forest managers, and consultants, it’s also relevant to producers who have agroforestry aspects to their production systems.

“The manual is relevant to producers because they frequently plant trees to create windbreaks or vegetation corridors on their properties,” said Alison.

“The species planted on farm or present in uncleared areas of a property are often the same as those used in the plantation forestry industry.

“Any producer who has trees can support biosecurity efforts of commercial producers with large scale plantations and Australian native forests in national parks or state reserves.”

The manual highlights the basic biosecurity activities that can minimise the risk of introducing and spreading weeds, pests and diseases.

Trees and sheep

The species of trees used for windbreaks are often the same as those used in plantation forestry and those found in national parks.

“Trees like pines and eucalypts may also include the same or similar species that grow in national parks and state forests. Producers can treat their forested areas as they would any other production area by limiting access and including health checks on their trees as part of their usual biosecurity routine.”

Plantations provide almost 80 per cent of the log resources for forest wood and paper products with plantings split almost equally between softwood and hardwood species.

“Although the long rotation times, and often the scale of plantings, is quite different to other crops, the biosecurity measures required to protect timber plantations from pests and diseases are similar to other industries.”

Among the numerous pest fact sheets in the manual is one for giant pine scale, which has been found on Aleppo pine, stone pine, radiata pine and blue spruce growing in garden and amenity trees, which could threaten Australia’s valuable pine plantations.

“This is timely because the forestry industry is currently trying to eradicate giant pine scale from Melbourne and Adelaide,” said Alison.

The manual also includes a hypothetical exotic bark beetle incursion and response to highlight the potential impacts of an incursion.

Download a copy of the Biosecurity Manual for Plantation Timber Industry.

The content of the plantation timber biosecurity manual is also available in the new ‘Plantation forestry‘ section of the Farm Biosecurity website. The plantation timber toolkit includes the manual, a biosecurity checklist, a pest surveillance record sheet, visitor register and a template for a plantation biosecurity sign.

Plantation forestry is now also included in the Farm Biosecurity profiler that you can use to compile personalised biosecurity toolkits.