Bannockburn Sugar Gum and Wattle&Wire pl.
In 2022, Wattle&Wire entred into an agreement with the Ballarat Environmment Network, (BEN) to harvest Sugar Gum from their plantation at Bannockburn west of Geelong.
Ballarat Envioronment Network manages some 800Ha of small parks and reserves on behalf of the Victorian Government throughout the western district of Victoria. These include small, abandoned school sites, public recreational and nature reserves along with road reserves and small blocks of public land.
The 400Ha Bannockburn reserve includes a mix of indgenous native vegetation and a substantial mixed species plantation, planted some 70 years ago following the extraction of gravel from the site.
BEN uses the proceeds from the sale of wood from the plantation to finance restoration programs and management of the Bannockbrun reserve as well as other reserves in its remit.
The plantation comprises several areas of tree plantings including Swamp Mallet, Iron Bark and Grey Box but the largest area is planted to Sugar Gum. Harvested for firewood production in the past, the Sugar Gum trees have never been thinned or coppiced and therefore most trees have multiple small diameter trunks which are of little value in the mainstream timber processing system.
With the imminent closure of native forest logging, many Sugar Gum plantations in the western district of Victoria, where Sugar Gum thrives have been identified as sustainable sources of durable timber products, historically supplied by our native forests.
Many of the plantations have been negtected or just managed for firewood production so the trees require thinning and felling to encouage new growth which can then be managed to produce higher value saw logs and poles. The high cost of thinning and felling is a barrier to the transition to a higher value forest, especially as the value of the wood produced in the thinning does not often cover the cost of the thinning operation.
Wattle&Wire pl uses small diameter logs to produce fences. Sugar Gum is highly durable and makes very good pales for our fences. We pay a royalty to BEN for the logs which meet our specification. We then fell the remaining timber, leaving the best stems to grow on as saw log or pole. The tree density is reduced by 50% to encourage faster growth and the timber left lying on the ground is sold by BEN as "help yourself" firewood to the local community.
For Wattle&Wire this is a win all around. It returns a forest to its full productive potential quickly, provides income for the ongoing management of the plantation and adjoining indigenous forest with a promise of greater returns in future. It provides a valuable resource to the local community in firewood while still preserving the recreational and ecological values of the park and Wattle&Wire pl can provide even more durable products to our customers.
Battery powered rechargable chainsaws have come of age.
At Wattle&Wire, we have recently aquired the first of our battery powered chainsaws to replace the old oil burners.
This new professional range of saws is well suited to Wattle&Wire's needs because we deal in small diameter trees and the new Husqvarna 536LiXP is performing extremely well. Batteries are charged in the workshop with the facility to charge from the vehicle battery in around forty minutes.
No more nasty fumes, no more vibration, no more mixing fuel, and vastly reduced noise levels with less weight; it's a win all round.
Great for the environment and operator safety, it makes a day harvesting even more pleasurable.
More Beachmaster® Sand Fence at Port Fairy
The recently installed "Wave Energy Dissipation Structure" WEDS (rock wall) constructed at the old rubbish tip site on East beach at Port Fairy is the latest site for the installation of more Beachmaster® Sand Fence.
Read more in Beachmaster® Projects in the Erosion Control Fence section of this site.
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show,
Royal Exhibition Building/ Carlton Gardens Melbourne
The Diggers Club, operators of the highly popular Heronswood and St Erth gardens will have a fantastic display garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year and will be providing some beautiful fences to enclose what promises to be a stunning display.
We will be onsite to provide advice and answer any questions.
Don't miss it
The Beachmaster® Sand Fence system has a new support system.
The 5.0mm - 2.0 tonne load wire has been replaced with a 13.0mm 1-19, 12.0 tonne cable top and bottom.
The fence ligatures no longer carry the working loads which are now carried entirely by the support cable and transfered to the end assemblies through fully adjustable 24mm eye bolts.
Post spacings remain at 2.5m with strainer posts and stay posts increased to 200mm diameter and intermediate post increased to 150 - 200mm diameter.
Saddles with a large cable to saddle surface area and a PVC gasket fix the cable to the posts, ensuring any bending moment is distributed over a large area of cable.
This change will eliminate ligature failure at the fixing points caused by continuous working at the fastener without compromising the fences effectiveness, functionality.or aesthetic.
A new clipping system has greatly reduced installation time, critical when working between tides.
A fantastic new natural play ground constructed by the East Gippsland Council uses Wattle and Wire Split Pale Fence to great effect. The 1.2m high fence was specially made to blend with the natural and unique feel of the playground while providing security for the users.