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End of an era

9 August 2018

Senior Timber Assessor Steve Davis and Technical Officer Mike Cully have been working hard in Kununurra to harvest Indian sandalwood from old Forest Products Commission (FPC) research plots.

Senior Forester (Ecology) Jon Brand said that the agreement between the FPC and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to grow sandalwood plantations in the area finishes in 2021.

“We used to have around 50 hectares of Indian sandalwood, planted between 1990 and 2005, but these plantations have gradually been sold and harvested over the past five years,” Mr. Brand said.

The remaining half a hectare of sandalwood in Kununurra will be harvested in 2019.

“Approximately three tonnes of Indian sandalwood was harvested in Kununurra during this recent expedition, which will be sent to Wescorp in Perth and sold.  Valuable aromatic oils will most likely be extracted from the wood and used in products such as perfumes and cosmetics,” Mr. Brand said.

“The research plots were very useful during their time and helped develop Indian sandalwood growth, heartwood and oil yield models,” Mr. Brand said.