Presentation: African mahogany project

African mahogany project (webinar) Optimising productivity from African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) plantations in northern Australia

Date: Wednesday 15 July
Time: 1.00 pm (AEST)
RFP CPD Hours: 1.0

A presentation from a four-year project designed to assist Mahogany growers to optimise the silvicultural management systems for mahogany plantations in the dry tropic region.
Mahogany plantings in the 1960s and 1970s in northern Australia demonstrated its wide adaptability, strong growth potential and good timber quality. There are currently ~15000 ha of African mahogany plantations in northern Australia, mostly in the NT with smaller plantings in north Queensland and WA.
African Mahogany Australia (AMA), Northern Tropical Timbers (NTT) and FWPA jointly funded a 4 year project to optimise the silvicultural management systems for mahogany plantations in the dry tropic region. The project has provided clear directions on the nutrient and water management options for these plantations. A key outcome was the need to manage the plantations at low densities to minimise the risk of drought related mortality and to maintain tree growth. A preliminary evaluation of timber processing options for young mahogany provided an understanding of potential sawn timber and veneer products from young mahogany. Managing plantations at low densities provides the opportunity to introduce grazing.
AMA has introduced grazing in the plantations to control competition, reduce fuel loads and to provide an early cash flow. Whist the integrated grazing program has been a sensible addition to plantation management, there is a real opportunity to implement a specific silvopastoral system in the NT which includes the simultaneous production of hay and high value timber, and later grazing. This system is in line with the silvicultural research findings of lowering stocking to produce larger diameter logs of greater value.

John McGrath: Has over 40 years’ experience in ecophysiological research in plantation and farm forestry species (hardwoods and softwoods) across Australia. This research has focussed on understanding the climatic, soil, water and nutrient limitations to plantation performance. This work has developed silvicultural strategies to effectively manage timber plantation and tree crops for a range of products in a wide range of environments.

Frank Miller is a forester with over 20 years’ experience. He has led the management of the African mahogany estate in the Northern Territory for almost ten years. Previously, he worked in Tasmania primarily in plantation silviculture and management. He has initiated and implemented integrated grazing in the NT mahogany plantations and recently completed a Nuffield Scholarship where he investigated silvopastoral systems, and other mechanisms to add value to plantations.

This presentation has been sponsored by the project stakeholders and has been made available free of charge.

Click HERE to register

With thanks to the project partners for sponsoring this presentation:
  • African Mahogany Australia
  • Northern Tropical Timbers
  • FWPA
  • Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment