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Felled timber being collected. Photograph by John Kelly.

Money growing on trees

A HARVESTING For Profit information morning, hosted by the Clare Wood Energy Project, will be held in the Auburn Lodge Hotel, Ennis on Wednesday next from 10am-12.30pm.

A joint initiative between Teagasc and Clare Local Development Company, the Clare Wood Energy Project (CCWEP) has been working in Clare since 2005.

Michael Somers, Teagasc forestry development officer for Clare, who has been working with clusters of farm forester owners, highlights that there is in excess of 23,000 Ha of private forestry in the county.

“A lot of this forest is at or approaching harvesting. The CCWEP has encouraged thinning over the past decade. Some of these sites are approaching second and subsequent thinning, while more is at clearfell stage. Every year, new forest-owners are coming into the thinning cycle. With this in mind, CCWEP, along with Teagasc, plan to look at some of the issues affecting private forest owners in the county.”

Mr Somers said, in many cases, forest-owners do not know who the timber buyers are. To address this, there will be a number of stands, including harvesting contractors and timber buyers, to offer advice on selling, particularly in a group or cluster scenario.

Gloria Callinan from CCWEP said through the LEADER programme, there is a budget to provide mentoring to clusters of farm forest-owners, to assist in developing business skills necessary for the marketing and sales of timber.

“We will launch the mentor panel at the Harvesting For Profit event and offer hours of mentoring support from our expert panel of experienced mentors, to farmer clusters in County Clare between now and the end of the year.”

Speakers at the event will include Con Little, owner of Tree Dimensions, a forestry consultancy practice and deputy chairman of the Limerick and Tipperary Woodland Owners Group; Enda Keane, from Treemetrics, on the benefits of using digital means to gauge the crop in your forest and Tim Ryan, from IFAC accountants and tax advisors, on the implications of taxation on profit from harvesting and any new developments as a result of the budget.

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