Overview & Planning
APM Forests (APMF) was formed in 1951 by Australian Paper Manufacturers (APM) (which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMCOR Ltd) with the primary aim of supplying economic pulpwood to APM's Maryvale Mill in Gippsland, through the establishment of a plantation base and co-ordination of pulpwood harvesting. APMF operations included:
- Growing, harvesting and transportation of APMF plantation-grown pine and eucalypt to the Maryvale Mill.
- Negotiating wood prices and supervising the supply of wood and wood chips from the State Government and private suppliers.
- Growing, harvesting and transportation of APMF plantation-grown sawlogs to the APM Wood Products Sawmill at Morwell.
- Sales of logs and seedlings to external customers.
- Establishment and maintenance of plantations.
- Research and development in tree breeding and tree growth.
By 2001, the APMF gross land holding (including freehold and leasehold land) in Gippsland was 85,000ha. Of this land base:
- The net productive plantation area was 62,500ha, comprising 42,500ha of pine plantations, 7000ha of eucalypt plantations, 7000ha of eucalypt native forest and 6000ha of plantation land awaiting replanting (following plantation clear-falling).
- The non-productive land base of some 22,500ha across the estate comprised land occupied by roads, firebreaks, riparian strips, swamps, mineral resources, housing areas and power transmission lines etc.
- The annual planting rate averaged 1500 to 2000ha/yr.
By 2001, the volume of wood harvested annually both from APMF plantations and State Forests was approximately 1.4 million tonnes. In that year the plantations were sold to Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP).
To plan plantation and industrial development within Gippsland, APMF constructed a long-term plantation planning model using simulation and linear programming techniques. This model undertook explicit evaluation of the combination and interactions of establishment method, tree breeding, fertilisation, thinning type and clear-felling age.
APMF's geographic information system incorporated the results of an extensive soil survey and associated mapping exercise across the whole estate. For each site this defined prescriptive treatments for soil cultivation, nutritional requirements and use of weedicide. An example is given in Table 1 of this work in relation to P. radiata.