Saturday 17th Aug 2019

PSC Program

Article Index

The PSC service is endorsed in Australia by:

  • Australian Forest Growers (AFG);
  • National Association of Forest Industries
  • Association of Consulting Foresters of Australia (ACFA)
  • Private Forests Tasmania (PFT);
  • TFGA-FARMWOOD, representing Tasmanian treegrowers co-operatives.

Buyers and sellers can see the logs from quite different points of view

  • The mean diameter over pruned branch stubs (DOS) for each lift is only a couple of hand widths across (or so memory suggests);
  • These pruned logs are inherently worth 2.5 times as much as unpruned logs. Therefore, for this particular stand, at current prices, an additional $12.000/hectare stumpage is anticipated because of the pruning.
  • All pruned logs look the same;
  • The best pruned logs can produce up to 80% of sawn outturn in clears grades while the worst produce no clears
  • Qualities of pruned logs from small forest stands can vary widely, reflecting the growers' knowledge, attitudes, and physical and financial ability to get the pruning done on time;
  • A sample of logs from the accessible part of the stand may be quite different from what's further in, perhaps because a single pruning lift took several years to complete;
  • Any premium paid for the pruned material is at risk and may be lost.

The future scenario might be even worse than this. With pruned log supply potentially increasing over tenfold in the next decade, the main buyers of these logs could be off-shore, or at least very large companies.

There may not even be the opportunity for the sort of interaction illustrated on the front page, and premiums are unlikely to be paid where risk for the buyer is high. This very difficult situation can easily be avoided. The buyer really only needs to know a few very simple details, such as:

  • How effective was the pruning? and
  • Was all the stand treated the same way?