A ‘Step-by-Step Guide to Harvesting and Selling Timber from Conifer Forests’ was launched by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Pippa Hackett.

The forecasted increase in timber supply to the Irish market in future years will come almost exclusively from privately owned forests, according to Teagasc.

The research and advisory body said that the mobilisation of this important supply is dependent on timely and active management of what is traditionally referred to as the ‘farm forest’.

Farm forests to provide timber

Active management commences with individual forest owners developing an awareness and understanding of their own forests, Teagasc has said.

This allows for timely planning of activities such as applying for a felling licence and providing suitable access to the forest.

Speaking at Oak Park, Co. Carlow this week, Minister Hackett said: “Forest management is a relatively new venture for many forest owners.

“The steps involved in organising forest harvesting and timber sales, including knowing where to start and who to approach, can be challenging, particularly if this is a new venture. 

“This 28-page publication offers a step-by-step guide to forest owners in getting timber from their conifer forests to the market place.”

Frances McHugh, Teagasc forestry development officer explained: “Planning a timber harvest needs to begin in good time, ideally a few years out from the actual harvest.

“Gaining knowledge of timber assortments and products, the paperwork involved, the potential buyers, along with required preparation in the forest, all need a significant lead in time.

The key messages for owners considering forest management and timber sales are set out in the booklet: Start the process in good time; get good advice; engage people who will work for the benefit of the forest; and make sure to have a good contract in place to ensure a successful outcome.

This approach will help in optimising the valuable forest resource.