Short rotation forestry (SRF) involves planting single stemmed trees over rotations between 8-20 years depending on the species chosen. This practice is similar to conventional forestry and trees are harvested when they reach 10-20cm at breast height (1.3m). The area can then be replanted or allowed to become longer rotation coppice. Fast growing trees with potential for SRF include native trees such as poplar, sycamore, ash, birch and alder and exotic species such as shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens and E. gunnii), and southern beech (Nothofagus spp).
SRF has great potential as single stemmed trees can be planted in areas unsuitable for SRC and miscanthus. All operations are performed using conventional forestry equipment and the yields and quality of woodfuel produced should be superior. However, SRF has until now received little research and development and as a result there is a great deal of uncertainty about the performance of individual species, plantation design and the optimum point for harvest. As a result there is little guidance available for interested farmers.
Read our blog on SRF Eucalyptus here.