North-West farmer named Tasmanian Tree Farmer of the Year
Posted 23 September 2021
Graham Freeman farms a 134-hectare property at Milabeena. He has about 14 hectares of plantation and about 25 hectares of native bush.
Over the years his farm has been a successful example of how trees can be integrated into farms.
Graham was awarded Tasmanian Tree Farmer of the Year at the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Networks, Tasmanian Timber Awards Dinner in September at the Albert Hall Launceston, in recognition of his expertise in tree farming.
His mixed plantings provide many benefits, including:
- Shelter in what is a very exposed environment for his beef cattle
- Aesthetics gained with the landscaping and a range of conifer and pine species; and
- Innovation with species such as Sequoia sempervirens, which were pruned initially to eight metres and now reaching commercial thinning at 40 years of age.
The Sequoia sempervirens has been a valuable crop that was established on steep slopes and designed to supplement Graham’s livestock operation.
Graham has been able to market and sell the timber from his sawn thinnings to a master builder for a top price, which also provides an insight into what is to come as the trees can further value into maturity.
Graham was an original member of the North West Farm Forestry discussion, established in 1980, and is a member of the North West Private Tree Growers group, which along with PFT, promotes the planting of trees on farms across the North West Coast.
His property is often used for field days as an example of what a vision combined with sound silviculture and hard work, can create.