Logging income hit by wind damage

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Drone footage showing damage to one of council's plantations.

Recent wind damage around the district is set to cost Ashburton District Council (ADC) valuable logging income.

Trees need to be salvaged from damaged plantations covering an area of 65 hectares.

ADC forester Terry O’Neill told councillors at a recent briefing that the salvage value of the trees was estimated at $327,000.

The book value of those trees was $403,000, but the value at maturity was $1.042 million.

He said the damage to trees a couple of weeks ago was more significant than first thought.

“The event was significant, but was not to the same extent as the damage caused eight years ago.”

He said there was a higher cost to extract damaged trees and an estimated $130,000 was needed to re-establish trees.

Mr O’Neill said a drone would be used to give more detailed assessments.

Most of the trees damaged were on mature plantations located on reserve blocks.

Cr Lynette Lovett said farming trees was like any type of farming and losses needed to be budgeted for.

Cr Angus McKay said Canterbury could get wind damage and that was never going to change.

Mayor Neil Brown asked if plantation land could be sold to neighbouring farms.

Mr O’Neill said council had a lot of plantations on reserve land and had been trying to dispose of freehold blocks.

Some land was difficult to sell and it came with the added costs of de-stumping.

He told councillors that forests planted pre 1990 were not eligible for carbon credits and that credits only applied to new forests planted on un-forested land.

The council’s forestry stock totals around 1300 ha.

-By Mick Jensen