Burning Under Young Eucalypts

Eucalypt plantations in northern NSW are grown on long rotations (30-40 years) for solid wood products. Managing fuels within these plantations is essential to minimise the impact of wildfire. Cattle grazing is the most cost-effective and efficient method of fuel manipulation. However, cattle only selectively graze and some species of grass (mainly blady grass, Imperata cylindrica ) dominate, resulting in high fuel loads. Prescribed burning is an effective method of reducing these fuels but there are many unanswered questions relating to fire in young eucalypt plantations.

The main objective of this project is to determine, for specific plantation species, the crop age/stem size, fuel amount, and weather conditions that are appropriate for prescribed burning in order to minimise damage from burning to acceptable levels.

Experimental burning in eucalypt plantations have been conducted in 2005 and 2006 to achieve the above objective.

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