Six Hills Forest Partnership
Pruning Progress - Stand Areas - Tax
15 April 2002
Pruning investment begins at Ahuriri
By the beginning of winter the majority of your AH2 Pinus radiata stand will have received its first pruning lift, up to around 3 metres on average. The target pruned height when finished will probably be 6.5 metres, which could all be achieved within the next two summers for a lot of this stand's area. This would be ahead of forecast. It will depend on the nature of the growth seasons, but if the next two are like this one I have no doubt it will be the case.
Parts (~10%) of AH1 are ready for pruning too, a year or so early and the balance of the stand should be ready within a year or so. This stand and the two in North Canterbury are a year younger than AH2. On average the partnership's Radiata is a little ahead of the original growth predictions.
Silviculture Budget lower than predicted
Thankyou to those who have sent the $250 per unit requested in February. The draft 2002 budget we have sent to the partnership's Forestry Consultant and Committee for approval requires $474 per unit. When finalised we will ask for the balance but there will be no urgency. We may end the year with a surplus that can go towards pruning costs early next year. Looking ahead though, we may not need as much further investment as previously thought. Originally a thinning was scheduled at the same time as the first lift of pruning. Thinning is now considered best delayed until pruned height is two thirds or fully completed. Cost delayed is cost saved.
Pruning and thinning cost forecasts at the start of this investment were based on the estimated plantable area. So that was really the maximum that might have been established and warrant pruning. The area actually established is probably less than was forecast and less than was estimated to be the planted area. The estimates of planted area were only based on the figures given for trees planted divided by the average spacing and these tend to overestimate area. Of course there are also a number of small areas on each site where trees have not become established for a variety of reasons.
So although silvicultural labour has increased in cost (with inflation) the total amount the Partnership has to provide for it will probably still be a little less than originally forecast. It is paid for on a measured stocked area basis and as it will amount to further investment of about $1,500 per hectare it is very important to measure accurately the total established stocked area. Of course it is important for valuation and insurance purposes too.
The established stocked areas of all six stands will be measured during this year and next by what we are advised is quite accurate mapping technology (+ or - 3%). It is less expensive and more accurate than it was just a few years ago. In due course we will send you copies of some or all of the maps.
If you would like to see some of the Six Hills stands, please get in touch. We are happy to organise a trip if there is some interest. Anyone who saw the sites soon after planting should be impressed by the transformation.
Tax Deductible Certificates for 2001
These should not be far away. The Partnership Accountant reports that the file is now with the auditor. By the way, the cost of pruning and thinning is fully deductible in the year carried out so all of this investment will be deductible from Partners' taxable income.
If you have any queries about anything, or want more information, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.
WARREN FORESTRY Ltd,
Manager for the Partnership Committee