Forestry Reports

Forestry Council Report March 2022

Market Review 

  • IFA carried out a timber price survey for the period November – December 2021. The full survey is available here.
Product TypeLength (m)Diameter (cm)Price € /tonne
Pulp 3 m < 7cm  26 – 44 
Stakewood 1.6 m  > 8cm < 15 cm  42 – 75 
Palletwood2.5 m> 14 cm 40 – 63
 3.1 m  60 – 79
 3.4 m  74 – 80
 3.7 m  70 – 82
Sawlog4.9m > 20cm  95 – 117
  5.5 m 114 – 127 
Table 1. Roadside prices excluding VAT for Sitka spruce timber
Standing Prices Price € /tonne
1st Thinning 12 – 22
2nd Thinning19 – 42
3rd Thinning 25 – 48
Clearfell50 – 92
Table 2. Standing prices excluding VAT for Sitka spruce 
  • In 2021, a total of 2,016 hectares of new forests were established of which farmers planted 18% (390 hectares). While 70 kms of new forest roads were constructed to mobilise the resource. 
  • In January 2022, a total of 399 forest licences were issued. The breakdown is as follows: 
    • The breakdown of the licences that issued to the private sector is as follows: 58 afforestation licences, 75 forest road licence and 137 felling licences.
    • A total of 262 felling licences issued (137 issued to the private sector and 129 issued to Coillte). 
  • The total backlog of licences in the system as of February 2022 is 3,518 (i.e. licence applications that have been in the system for greater than 4 months). Of which 1,810 have been in the system greater than 13 months; 502 afforestation, 1,101 felling and 207 road licence applications.  

Activity since last National Council

  • In February DAFM published a Forestry Licensing Plan 2022 which set out a range of forestry priorities for 2022 including the delivery of a new Forest Strategy and Forestry programme. Under the plan DAFM plans to issue 5,250 new forestry licences in 2022 (1,530 for Coillte felling, 1,830 for private felling, 1,040 for afforestation, and 850 for forest roads); increasing output from an average of 77 licences per week in 2021 to 100 licences per week in 2022.
  • The delivery of a new Forest Strategy and Forestry programme will involve:
    • The ongoing implementation of the recommendations in Project Woodland.
    • The administration of forestry schemes and payments to landowners.
    • The implementation of wider Government policy including the Climate Action Plan.
    • Amendment of Forestry Act 2014 and development of related initiatives to facilitate small scale tree – planting.
    • The implementation work around Brexit and export certification.
    • The essential work on Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) and our plant health control and checks.
    • The publication of data in the National Forest Inventory by end of 2022.
    • Administration of and participation in the COFORD Council working groups and reports.
    • Servicing Ireland’s international and EU forestry obligations.
    • Defending the Department’s decisions at the Forestry Appeals Committee.
  • IFA met with Philip Lee to discuss the external regulatory review, which is due to be finalised in the coming weeks. The review is charged with considering the legalities of the 15km radius for Appropriate Assessment screening and a single consent system that includes thinning and forest roads.
  • IFA has written to Minister Hackett asking that the proposed changes to the Forestry Act 2014 aimed at increasing the planting of native trees are extended to remove the afforestation licence requirement to plant both native and conifer trees and that the threshold is increased beyond the 1 hectare proposed.  
  • IFA attended two meetings of the Coford Council the topics discussed included presentations of two reports recommended by the Socio and Economic Working Group on estimated employment and economic activity associated with the forestry sector and the Wood Mobilisation and Forecasting Group on Study on Private Forest Certification in Ireland. 
  • In January 2022, Coford published a series of statements on Forests and wood products, and their importance in climate change mitigation. The report can be reviewed here
  • IFA attend two meetings of the Coford Wood Mobilisation and Forecasting Group were there were discussions and updates provided with regards to the status of forestry licences, study commissioned by the group on Private Forest Certification in Ireland and follow up actions, labour shortages in the sector, Wood Supply and Demand on the Island of Ireland report and thinning practice and operations in Ireland. 
  • The CSO published figures for wood removal and for wood input purchases, for more information on the Wood Removal survey, click here and the Wood Input Purchases by Industry, click here
  • In January DAFM introduced a new Reconstitution of Woodland Scheme (Frost) with applications to be submitted before 29thApril 2022. Only private forest owners who planted during the period between 1st November 2017 and 1st June 2021 and whose entire plantations sustained a minimum of 30% losses are eligible to apply under the Scheme. The scheme is cost based with maximum grant rate of €850/ha for conifers and €1,180/ha for broadleaves. IFA is seeking that the scheme is extended to include forests planted since 2015.
  • IFA followed up with DAFM in relation to letters that issued to forest owners notifying them that their felling licence application was closed. DAFM confirmed that letters issued to forest owners who have not provided the further information required to process application despite the Department making three attempts to supply information. The advice from IFA is that farmers who received this letter and wish to proceed with existing felling licence application should contact their Registered Foresters and DAFM immediately.
  • IFA met with a group of forestry representatives to discuss the current issues within the sector and the possibility of setting up a Forestry Development Agency. 
  • DAFM developed a new the Technical Guidance document to assess the competence of professional operators to issue Plant Passports in order to formalise Plant Passporting authorisation, for more information click here
  • The IFA Farm Forestry Committee met on the 14th January, 14th December and the 1st December.

Any EU/COPA developments

  • IFA provided a contribution to the Agri and Forestry Market Situation November/February 2022.
  • There are ongoing discussions at European level on how to reconcile the economic potentials of forestry beyond wood with reaching biodiversity and climate targets in the new EU Forest Strategy for 2030.
  • IFA attended the Working Party and CDG meeting for Forestry and Cork. 

Upcoming issues

  • Public Consultation on a new National Forest Strategy 2022 and the next Forestry Programme 2023-2027.
  • Bilateral meeting with DAFM on the new Irish Forest Vision and Strategy.

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