Gold in these hills? Rush to harvest the fallen trees of Dandenongs
“Due to the shortage of wood, the prices have skyrocketed, it’s really positive here,” she said.
“People don’t understand what they have, don’t give it away. If you are not sure what you have, find an expert.
The state company VicForests offered to buy fallen trees on private property, ask those with trunks at least three meters long and 40 cm in diameter to email for a quote.
VicForests CEO Monique Dawson said more than 100 Victorian residents, mostly in the Dandenongs, have so far inquired about the sale of their timber fallen since the storm.
Depending on the species and grade, the trees could be used for everything from stairs and guitars to pulp.
“Any big old tree in good condition, someone can put a really good price on it,” she said.
“So the older the tree, in general, the better the characteristics of higher-value products like furniture, stairs or floorboards; they give you that beautiful grain.
Ms Dawson said she had seen “heartbreaking” examples of hardwood cut for firewood or shredded into bark mulch.
“A beautiful piece of wood, and it would have been someone’s beautiful dining table for 100 years and it was placed in someone’s fireplace or the hooks will scratch on it,” she said.
Ms Dawson said prices would depend on the quality and quantity of trees available in a given area, as well as labor costs.
She said damp trees like those in the hills could lay eggs for up to two years before deteriorating, but the company would try to treat all the wood by the start of the next fire season.
Jim Magee, a 45-year lumber industry veteran, said all of the Dandenong’s eucalyptus species would fetch between $ 300 and $ 350 per unprocessed cubic meter.
But he said residents could be offered a lot less, or no money at all, because of the costs involved in salvaging wood from hard-to-reach areas. However, that would save them from paying for the move.
“This wood is going to be very expensive to move to a sawmill,” he said.
The scale of the work is evident in the backlog of local arborists like John McKenna, whose team has safely felled 200 dangerous trees threatening homes since the storm and now has jobs on hold until Christmas.
Mr. McKenna’s team, who are technical climbers who cut down huge ‘widowmaker’ trees up to 80 meters tall piece by piece, are in high demand because so many properties in the hills are inaccessible for the pods. lifts and cranes.
“It’s crazy and honestly I’m really struggling to handle it,” he said. “We have jobs that are robbing us from everywhere. “
The number of trees affected by the storm is still incalculable, according to the Ministry of Environment, Water, Land and Planning, but it is estimated that thousands have fallen.
Yarra Ranges Mayor Fiona McAllister said council has already removed enough trees from roads and roadsides to fill the CWM.
She acknowledged that residents face a significant challenge getting rid of large trees and branches from their properties.
“Some of the fallen trees are 50 to 60 meters long and will be difficult to manage, especially in the Dandenongs,” she said.
Cr McAllister called on the state and federal governments to help the council resolve the issue.
“We need funds to allow the council to continue cleaning up the materials we collect from roads and roadsides, and resources to enable the community to remove larger materials from their own properties,” a- she declared.
Yarra Ranges hosts a collection of smaller trees and branches from residents, with debris turned into mulch for public collection.
Authorities have also said they will make firewood available to the community in designated areas, but only when it is safe.
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