Australian Forest Growers conference will hear from Tasmanian Tree Farmer of the Year Roger Poltock

LONG INVESTMENT: Roger Poltock on his tree farm at Wilmot. Mr Poltock has been named the 2016 Tree Farmer of the Year and will speak at a national conference to be held in Launceston next week. Picture: contributed.

LONG INVESTMENT: Roger Poltock on his tree farm at Wilmot. Mr Poltock has been named the 2016 Tree Farmer of the Year and will speak at a national conference to be held in Launceston next week. Picture: contributed.

Forestry farming is a long term investment – you have to be patient.

Wilmot mixed farmer Roger Poltock planted his first hectares of radiata pine about 30 years ago.

He harvested the first part of his plantation wood two years ago.

“There’s a proverb that states the best time to plant wood is 20 years ago and the second best time is now,” Mr Poltock said.

Patience and attention to detail has paid off for Mr Poltock and his wife Outhay who were recently named the 2016 Tree Farmer of the Year.

The state title has given Mr Poltock the opportunity to speak at a national conference of tree farmers, the Australian Forest Growers biennial conference, that this year is being held in Launceston.

Mr Poltock runs a mixed farming enterprise of livestock/grazing and forestry and has about 10 hectares of radiata pine that is used for domestic and export markets.

“I’ve always loved being in the bush, in the trees, I grew up at Penguin, my parents had a poultry farm, but I didn’t much like chickens,” he said, as an explanation for how he got involved with private forestry.

Mr Poltock is a exploratory geologist by trade and works in the mining industry as well as working on the farm.

He said trees were pretty easy to look after, once they got big enough to ward off roaming animals.

“You get a lot of problems from wallabies, when they are small trees,” he said.

Wallabies eat the growing shoots off the trees if they aren’t controlled and pine needs regular pruning for the first five years of its life.

Mr Poltock said the pruning was key to ensuring a good quality, knot-free tree, which was a premium product in the forestry market.

The Australian Forest Growers biennial conference will be held in Launceston on October 23-26. For more information go online.

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