by Todd Smith, Managing Director of Jarrimber.com.au
“Australia has a deep rooted history in forestry. Early British settlers found great difficulty with Australian forests as the hardwood eucalyptus species was quite difficult to chop with an axe. The softwood Norfolk Pine, that the British hoped to convert into masts for their ships, had rotten interior and was too difficult to transport over long distances, leaving early settlers frustrated with Australia’s forests. While they may have caused difficulties for early settlers, they now play a vital role in the country’s economy. They are also home to many of our beautiful wildlife, and some are national treasures.
Throughout the 19th century, there was a sharp increase in global demand for fast growing trees. Australian species such as Acacia and Eucalyptus grew quickly and produced hard timber when grown under the correct conditions. Countries throughout the world began to plant these types of trees. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that Australia began to capitalise on this, by planting native hardwoods predominantly. The forestry industry now contributes an estimated $22 billion to economic turnover each year, employing over 60,000 people.
Incredibly, over 40% of tropical and sub-tropical plantations in the world today consist of Australian trees. This shows the value of the trees of Australia on a global scale. The purpose of this infographic is to inform on some of the interesting facts surrounding the trees of Australia, their history, and their importance to our wildlife and culture.”
– Todd Smith, Managing Director of Jarrimber