Farm forestry is the term applied to the use of trees on privately owned farms, excluding large industrial forestry activity. Farm forestry plays an important role in land management in Tasmania and is coordinated by Private Forests Tasmania (PFT) the State Government funded authority that facilitates the sustainable use of trees on private land.
The Farm Forests Project funding under the Commonwealth Natural Heritage Trust, which assisted landowners in farm forest planning, concluded in December 2002.
Under this Project, PFT prepared 130 plans in consultation with private landowners to integrate new plantations with other agricultural activities. Successful implementation of these plans increases long-term sustainability and productivity of native forests and provides additional livestock and crop shelter as well as increasing environmental benefits from integrated plantations. For example, strategic tree planting addresses weed control in 60% of plantation plans as well as salinity (30% of plans) and erosion (10% of plans).
Longer rotation ages associated with sawlog and veneer products were promoted to optimise both environmental benefits (such as weed control, and reduction in salinity and erosion) and potential financial return for the grower compared to pulpwood products.
Direct seeding of native species was also actively promoted because of its low cost compared to direct planting of seedlings. It is also suited to situations where a large amount of seed species are readily available and a range of species may need to be interplanted to mimic natural vegetation communities, especially for shelter and amenity purposes.