Private native forestry

Native forests on private land are important for timber production in Queensland and provide income to landholders while supplying a wood resource to the timber industry. These forests supply around half of Queensland's native hardwood resources.

Private native forests in Queensland are extensive, covering more than 10 million hectares across the state. Most of this land's management combines forestry and grazing in a mutually beneficial way.

Management of private native forests

Selective harvesting practices and active management has many benefits. These include environmental and timber benefits such as:

  • improved ground-cover, including perennial grasses and leaf litter
  • good retention of large trees
  • woody debris for animal habitat.

Silvicultural treatment helps to ensure:

  • a productive stand with the best stocking for optimum growth
  • a good mix of commercial trees for timber production
  • regeneration for future canopy tree species.

Extent and condition of private native forests

Information has been developed to better understand the native forest resources on privately-owned land in South-East Queensland.

To support sustainable forest management, timber production, and grazing, it's essential to understand the extent and condition of private native forests as a resource.

Learn more by reading the resource extent and condition fact sheets. For each region across Queensland and northern New South Wales the fact sheets describe:

  • areas of potentially harvestable forest (mapping the extent of remnant, regrowth and woody, non-remnant forest)
  • common forest types
  • options for timber and grazing production
  • forest productivity (merchantable volume and carbon stocks and improving forest productivity)
  • ecological benefits and condition.

These fact sheets were part of the 'Improving productivity of the subtropical private native forest resource' project, a collaboration between the department, universities and industry, funded by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forest and Wood Products Australia.

Private native forestry trees

The main types of commercial private native forest trees and timbers in Queensland are hardwood (e.g. spotted gum, ironbark, blackbutt, grey gum, forest red gum, white mahogany or yellow stringybark, Gympie messmate) or softwood (e.g. white cypress pine).

Wood properties like colour and hardness differ between species of native forest tree. Read about the properties of some important native forestry trees in Queensland:

Read about the wood properties and uses of Australian timbers.

Private native forestry legislation and regulations

The Vegetation Management Act 1999 regulates native forestry on private land through an accepted development vegetation clearing code. Learn more about accepted development vegetation clearing codes and approvals.

Other regulations concerned with managing protected native plants and animals are also relevant to private native forestry. In some cases, a protected plant flora survey and clearing permit may be required in high risk areas where endangered, vulnerable or near threatened plants are known to exist or are likely to exist. Learn more about protected plants.

Read more information on legislation and regulation relevant to forestry in Queensland or contact our Customer Service Centre.