Start of Re-afforestation

The Tumut & Adelong Times

19 February 1920

Mr. W. de Beuzeville paid a visit to Tumut this week, from his camping place, at Broken Cart, where he is busily engaged making preparations for the re afforestation of that wild area of country. Preparations are going on, he says, to start a nursery of trees, seeds for which will be chosen in America by an expert who will be sent there for the purpose, and who will have a clear understanding of the classes adaptable and the most required.

It is expected that 100 acres will be ready for plantation purposes next year, and that area will be added to as much as possible every year, until some 50,000 acres are under timber of the best commercial value. All trees of value, such as well grown mountain ash, etc., will be spared, but the useless stuff will be got rid of. The crooked small stuff to be cleared away, and the big trees of no value will be rung and left to die away gradually, it being computed; that by the time they have decayed, possibly in about 30 years, the newly planted timber will be fit for cutting and sending to market.  

The enterprise seems to be a particularly brilliant one that it is a pity was not adopted many years ago. It is calculated that it will be the   means of saving millions of money sent to foreign parts for timber we can easily grow here.

A returned soldier, coming from Egypt, informs us that a native of that country some years ago made a plantation of Australian trees, and he is netting a fine fortune now from the sale of same.

In America, we are informed, the law of the land is that anyone who fells a tree has to plant two others in its stead. There, too, observation stations are maintained to cope with any bush fires that may arise, bodies of men with necessary equipment being always ready, with quick despatch to get to where indications of fire become noticeable.

This plan, Mr. de Beuzeville states, will be adopted in the mountainous country where he is as soon as the re-afforestation business has got a fair start. Some idea, of the employment to be given may be gained from the fact that it is estimated that 10 men at least will be required to keep in order each 100 acres that become planed, not including those who will be engaged at look-out stations for fire out breaks. The financing of the scheme should be an easy enough matter, for the revenue received for royalties on timber, etc., should be devoted towards meeting the expenses.