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More than 40 million new timber trees planted since bushfires a win-win for NSW and climate change action

By the end of winter, more than 40 million new plantation timber trees will have been planted across NSW since the Black Summer bushfires, creating a major carbon sink that will continue to store carbon as timber and paper products for several decades.

The Australian Forest Products Association NSW said the enormous replanting effort by government and private forestry businesses across NSW was vital to ensure our state has timber and wood fibre for future generations.

“Most of NSW’s almost 400,000 of commercial timber plantations are radiata pine trees that are used to make our house frames, cardboard packaging, fences and a range of other essential, renewable products,” AFPA NSW CEO Victor Violante said.

“Each tree harvested is replanted to ensure there is a permanent carbon sink that is making an enormous contribution to NSW’s net zero emissions goal, and half the weight of a piece of wood is carbon that is stored for the life of the product – timber really is the ultimate renewable material.”

Forestry Corporation of NSW alone has overseen the replanting of 16 million pine and hardwood seedlings hand planted in 2021, and a further 14.5 million seedlings will be replanted in the state-owned plantations this winter. Private plantations in NSW will replant at least a further 11 million in the same period, totalling more than 40 million seedlings in two years.

“Our timber plantations underpin tens of thousands of jobs across NSW – in mills, harvest and haulage businesses, frame and truss manufacturers, builders, and in their local communities.

“With around 400 million plantation trees across NSW in the ground today doing their part to fight climate change, it really is a win-win for the whole of NSW.”

Mr Violante said that with the replanting post-bushfires now almost complete, it was important the state now turn its focus to growing the plantation estate to ensure we have enough wood fibre to meet future demand.

“As the world turns to more renewable building and packaging solutions, wood is the natural choice. Experts predict demand for wood fibre will triple or quadruple by 2050, so it is vital that Australia plans now to ensure we have enough plantation timber in the ground for future generations,” Mr Violante concluded.

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