Photo: Ula Majewski

Today, conservationists from the Huon Valley Environment Centre have released a sample of a celery top pine we believe to be more than 250 years old.

The sample was obtained from controversial Picton Valley logging coupe PC024B, where logging in high conservation value forest have been halted by conservationists this morning. Eight people have disrupted logging this morning, by setting up a tree sit. 

The celery top pine is an example of the destruction being wrought upon all elements of the Picton Valley forest, whether or not Ta Ann takes every log.

The sample of the celery top pine clearly demonstrates that the forest currently being logged in the Picton Valley is part of an old growth ecosystem. Furthermore, sections of the coupe were mapped as old growth forest during the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement process. This coupe is being logged to supply wood to Ta Ann, and their wood supply requirements are cited in official documents as the driver for logging this coupe which is inside the 430,000 hectares.

‘Ta Ann have admitted that old growth forests are being logged to supply their timber.  The fact that Ta Ann only mills smaller logs taken from areas of high conservation value does not excuse the source of supply’ said Huon Valley Environment Centre campaigner Jenny Weber.

After conducting citizen science in the logging area, tree ring counting found that the logged celery top pine was 280 years old, starting its growth at approximately 1732.  Using the methodology of dendrochronological techniques, we have indicated that this celery top pine was growing in this forest that is now being destroyed, when the Huon was being explored by D’Entrecasteaux in1792.

‘Ta Ann Tasmania public relations material emphasises that they mill regrowth logs. This implies incorrectly that there are no adverse environmental impacts associated with their operations.  It is not true that regrowth logs will always originate from regrowth forests – old growth forests can contain regrowth elements as a result of the dynamic ecology of these forest ecosystems’ said Jenny Weber.

‘We are losing globally significant forests for Ta Ann, meanwhile they are selling their timber as environmentally friendly and plantation sourced in Japan.  Our campaign intends to inform their corporate customers of the true source of the timber from Tasmania’s high conservation value and old growth forests,’ Jenny Weber said.