harvesting operations in progressA few points to remember when undertaking thinning or felling operations:

1.PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
It is recommended that you seek professional advice about your thinning or felling operations.
You will find lists of consultants and contractors in our Online Directory. A list of registered foresters is also available from Forest Service.

2. FELLING LICENCE
A Felling Licence must be applied for and a licence received prior to any thinning or felling operation.
It is recommended that growers apply to Forest Service for Felling Licences a number of months before the intended thinning or felling date. For more information, see Forest Service - Felling Section

Following Commencement of the Forestry Act 2014, where a licence for the felling of trees is granted, the licensee is required to erect a site notice at the entrance from the public road prior to the commencement and for the duration of harvesting operations.
See Example of Site Notice for Felling Operations

See also DAFM Felling and Reforestation Policy (May 2017)

Public Consultation for Afforestation, Forest Road Construction and Felling Licences:
Under the Forestry Regulations 2017 (SI No 191 of 2017), all applications for licences for afforestation, forest road construction projects, whether grant-aided or not, and for aerial fertilisation and tree felling operations, require the prior written approval of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Before the Minister can grant approval for any of the above, he must first determine if the project is likely to have a significant environmental effect.
Notice of the applications for approval that have been received by the Department are posted on the DAFM website, see Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - Public Consultation for Afforestation, Forest Road Construction and Felling Licences.

EU Timber Regulation will have implications for timber sales in Ireland - See Information Links/Eu Timber Regulation

3. THINNING PRACTICES
Before you thin check out available information on thinning practices:

4. SECURING YOUR TIMBER
Check out recommended sales dispatch system to secure your timber sale.

5. USE A CONTRACT
It is recommended that any woodland owner entering into the sale of timber should draw up a contract.
A contract should set out clearly the owner's obligations, as well as those of the purchaser. In addition, the owner must remember that there are a number of legal requirements he must comply with before allowing contractors on site, including obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.

The contract should include such items as the thinning method, systems and procedures to be employed, details of the roundwood to be included in the sale, agreed prices, the amount of deposit and payment schedules, insurance details, commencement and completion dates, and so forth. If the timber is to be sold by weight the contract should provide for haulage to the mill within a specified time.

A Template Master Tree Sales Agreement was compiled and project managed by the Irish Timber Growers Association in consultation with growers and the forest industry. This Template Master Tree Sales Agreement was launched by Tom Hayes T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2014 and is available for downloading from www.itga.ie

6. HEALTH & SAFETY REGULATIONS

7. TIMBER PRICE INFORMATION
There are a number of timber price sources:

Coillte produces quarterly and annual contracted Standing Sales figures by average tree size category.

The Irish Timber Growers Association www.itga.ie publishes quarterly and annual Private average roundwood prices received by private growers by average tree size category. These private prices are collated and compiled by UCD Forestry Section and only the compiled average prices are released for publication to the Irish Timber Growers Association. Both Coillte and Private average roundwood prices are available to ITGA Members, for more information see www.itga.ie

Both Coillte and Private Roundwood Prices are also published in the annual ITGA Forestry & Timber Yearbook. This publication can be purchased Online on www.forestryyearbook.ie or from the Irish Timber Growers Association Secretariat (+353 (0) 1 2350520). The ITGA Forestry & Timber Yearbook is published annually in December.

Other sources:
  -   Teagasc Knowledge Transfer
  -   IFA Forestry Market Reports

8. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Felling Decision Tool - The Felling Decision Tool provides guidance to forest owners on when to fell their forest to obtain the best return from their forest asset. The tool can be accessed through http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/forestservicegeneralinformation/foreststatisticsandmapping/fellingdecisiontool/.
    There is an accompanying COFORD Connects Note for guidance Felling Decision Tool - Conifers. For further details on the Felling Decision Tool please contact John Redmond This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Guidance for Forest Owners with Windblow - Windblow Taskforce (March 2014)
  • Managing Timber Transport - Good Practice Guide (Forest Industry Transport Group, 2014)
  • All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2011-2028 by Henry Phillips (Coford publication)
  • Timber Measurement Manual - Standard Procedures for the Measurement of Round Timber for Sale Purposes in Ireland (Coford publication)

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