Timber production is set to double
National timber production is forecast to double to over seven million cubic metres by 2028, with almost all of the increase coming from the private sector.
With such an outlook, it is no wonder that 200 forest owners with trees coming up for thinning turned up for Talking Timber.
This is the fourth year now that Teagasc has organised, in association with the Forest Service and the Irish timber industry, such a regional timber marketing event.
The event started with a fascinating outdoor display of timber logs of various sizes and quality, facilitated by the Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association.
John Ryan of Murray's sawmill in Co Galway explained precisely what Irish sawmills are looking for as he compared different logs, pointing out blemishes and explaining how to recognise good quality trees.
He also pointed out that the largest trees are not necessarily more valuable. He suggested that trees with a diameter at breast height of 26 to 30cm tend to be the most valuable timber category.
As the session moved back indoors other topics were discussed ranging from planning for thinning, forest regulations, factors affecting timber prices, new developments in private timber price databases to the first hand experience of a local forest owner.
Noel Kennedy, forestry advisor with Teagasc, provided an overview of what is involved when planning for first and second thinning. He emphasised that it is important for forest owners to become more involved in the planning and management of the thinning of their forests.