Australia’s forest types
Forestry practices depend on the type of forest and the values a forest is being managed for. In Australia, forestry is based in four main forest types.
Native forests are natural forests whose composition is determined by geology, climate, disturbance history, management regimes and other local conditions. These forests have evolved over millennia and are comprised of endemic forest species, making them highly unique and biodiverse. Most of Australia’s native forests are dominated by eucalypts – of which there are approximately 900 species!
These are areas of planted trees, usually established for a particular purpose. This is most commonly timber production, but plantations are also planted for soil, water, salinity, carbon, biodiversity or economic benefits. Australia’s commercial plantations are mostly Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata), however, there are also large plantations of eucalypts and other endemic and non-endemic species. Plantations can be owned and managed publicly (by the government) or privately.
Planted trees and remnant native forests are integrated into private land and agricultural landscapes to provide productivity, biodiversity, erosion mitigation, shelter and other environmental and economic benefits to farming systems.