Forestry industry expecting storm damage to total €10m
Close to €10m damage has been caused to forestry plantations by the recent storms, industry sources have estimated.
Up to 7,000ha of commercial forest were damaged in the storms which battered the country since early January, with counties Clare, Galway, Kerry, Cork ,Wexford and Laois the worst affected regions.
There are also possible issues relating to replanting of fallen trees and the possibility of lost forestry premia. However, clarification on these issues is still awaited from the Department of Agriculture.
"It will be a few weeks before we know the full extent of the damage but we are certainly looking at 5,000ha of woodland being affected by the storms and the final tally may top 7,000ha," said Donal Whelan of the Irish Timber Growers Association.
It is estimated that the value of 7,000ha could be close to €40m, however, not all of the timber in these forests will be lost.
Most of the 'wind blow' wood can be salvaged though the wood quality may be inferior.
Uprooted trees can be processed by sawmills in the normal way but the timber from broken trees may have to be recycled for other less lucrative uses such as wood pellets, wood pulp and fire wood.