Quick Six - June

Research and development changing slash management

The devastation caused by the Tolaga Bay storm event and subsequent flooding highlighted the need for changes within the forest industry. In particular, the need to better manage slash so as to protect downstream infrastructure, properties and people, was seen as a key area for improvement.

In late 2018, a NZFOA sponsored R&D project aimed at changing the way slash is managed in and around waterways was initiated by PF Olsen. The Heli-Hawk Grapple is a purpose-built slash grapple designed, & successfully tested, to clear slash from area’s previously left due to safety concerns and harvest system capability issues. 

The Heli-Hawk Grapple will be demonstrated at an industry open day, currently scheduled for July, in a PF Olsen managed forest outside Rotorua. Further details to follow in Wood Matters next month.





How did forestry fare in the recent NZ budget?

Some key points relating to forestry from yesterday’s “Wellbeing Budget” announced by the New Zealand Government includes; 

Over NZ$49 million has been allocated to help transform the forestry sector. Combined with existing funding, this equates to an investment of NZ$58 million in Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand). 

The funding will allow Te Uru Rākau to increase its regional presence to ensure foresters and landowners have the support they need and will also see the agency focus on the Government’s goal of developing a sustainable, domestic forestry workforce,” Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. 

“A key part to achieving our vision for the sector will be delivering in the regions and we will see new premises built in Rotorua – the heart of the forestry sector – showcasing the use of wood in construction and accommodating Te Uru Rākau’s growth.” 

A NZ$1 billion funding boost to support a long overdue redevelopment of KiwiRail. This includes NZ$375 million for new wagons and locomotives, NZ$331 million to invest in track and other supporting infrastructure and NZ$35 million to begin the process of replacing current ferries that are nearing the end of their lives. This funding package includes NZ$300 million from the Provincial Growth Fund allocated for investment in regional rail initiatives. 

A NZ $229 million Sustainable Land Use Package that will invest in projects to protect and restore at-risk waterways and wetlands and provide support for farmers and growers to use their land more sustainably. 

NZ$107 million to ensure the economic transition required to deliver the country’s greenhouse gas emission reductions. The Budget also includes funding to implement an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) auctioning platform. 

A new NZ$300 million fund to help fill the 'capital gap' for New Zealand firms that expand beyond the early start-up phase. 

NZ$20m over four years the fund strategic research to combat kauri dieback

Full details on the budget itself can be found on the treasury.govt.nz website.

Source:Friday Offcuts

Nature's first aid kit: A fungus growing on the sides of birch trees

Sometimes called birch bracket, and known to scientists as Fomitopsis betulina, the polypore is a parasite that slowly kills the birch before feasting on the dead tree until there is nothing left.

With recorded applications ranging from pain relief, wound dressing, antiseptic and even cancer treatment, birch polypore has been used as a broad spectrum therapy for various health problems. But is there a true medical basis behind the anecdotal folklore?

Numerous studies have revealed that birch polypore does indeed produce compounds with antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. Piptamine, polyporenic acids and triterpenoids are all compounds produced as part of the fungus' self-defence mechanism against bacteria, explaining its observed antibiotic value. When tested on dogs and mice suffering from cancer, as well as cancerous cells grown in the lab, birch polypore extracts had a range of anticancer effects such as reducing tumour size and cell growth.


Global SuperTanker to fight wild fires

The Global SuperTanker, the world's largest firefighting aircraft, is ready for the upcoming wildfire season in the U.S. The Arizona Republic reports that the Boeing 747-400 series passenger jet converted for firefighting recently underwent maintenance at Pinal Airpark outside Tucson. The retrofitted aircraft has been used to fight wildfires in California, Chile, Israel and elsewhere. 

The plane can dump up to 72,678 litres of water or retardant in just six seconds and fly as low as 61 metres above the ground to do its work. It can be refilled in just 13 minutes. The SuperTanker proved indispensable in 2018 helping battle some of the most devastating wildfires in California history. 

"It's a force multiplier," chief pilot Cliff Hale said. "When you need to build containment lines fast, having that very large capacity can really help the guys out on the ground." Hale was a captain with now defunct Evergreen Airlines when he came up with the idea to turn a 747 into a tanker. An early version of the SuperTanker was first used during a 2009 fire in Alaska that burned more than 202,347 hectares. 

That first SuperTanker was destroyed for salvage after Evergreen went bankrupt. Scott Olson, now vice president of maintenance for Global SuperTanker, later found a new plane. Olson and his team added four outlets to the belly of the plane that could dump 34,825 litres of liquid, along with a sprayer tank system. 

Hale calls the pressurized tank system the "world's largest and fastest squirt gun." The SuperTanker was deployed in Israel in 2016 and in Chile in 2017. It currently has contracts in California, Oregon and Colorado. Costs can run as much as US$250,000 a day. 

This clip was filmed outside of Stirling City, CA as the converted Boeing 747 drops fire retardant as a defensive line in the Camp Fire that devastated the city of Paradise, California last year. 


Source:Friday Offcuts

Taranaki farmers plant over 5 million native trees

Taranaki farmers will add 500,000 native shrubs and trees to riparian planting schemes along stream and river-banks. The new planting is on top of 5.1 million natives already planted to protect 15,000km of stream banks on the ring plain and coastal terraces, according to Taranaki Regional Council’s Don Shearman.
“Everyone’s well aware of the need to get their streamside fencing and planting completed by 2020
or near after.” Farmers have been given clear notice the council intends making the current voluntary riparian protection schemes mandatory, he said. The Government is also considering a similar move. TRC had worked with farmers under the RMS to prepare individual property plans, mapping the fencing and planting required, and setting out suitable plant varieties and a timeline for implementation.


Sonae Arauco launches Three-Dimensional Fiberboard 

3DF – Three-Dimensional Fiberboard – is a moldable formaldehyde free wood-based composite solution from Sonae Arauco that under the action of temperature and pressure (compression moulding process) can be shaped into endless formats, allowing deep structures and high radius capabilities on a very fast and productive way. This technology allows the replacement of historical processes such as CNC (computer assisted cutting process) and / or plywood applications, bringing outstanding improvements in terms of productivity, design possibilities and environmental impact. 

Whether it’s applied in furniture fronts, doors, seats, wall panelling or in other applications such as construction or even in the automotive sector, 3DF is the best option for turning the most demanding designs in reality with maximum flexibility and minimum effort. On top, the achieved product surface is perfect for lacquering and powder coating and can also be surfaced with 3D foil or CPL directly at the moulding process. 

Adelaide Alves, Product Development Director at Sonae Arauco, says “The 3DF breakthrough technology is a perfect fit to our strategy by bringing new innovative solutions to the market through strategic industrial partnerships and by taking wood further. Additionally, 3DF also responds to the new requirements of the furniture industry, bringing an improved environmental impact.” 

The 3DF materials have been developed in collaboration with the world’s leading chemical company BASF. In it’s manufacture, under the action of temperature and pressure can be shaped in endless formats, allowing deep structures and high radius capabilities on a very fast and productive way. On top, the surface achieved is perfect for lacquering and powder coating and can also be surfaced with 3D foil or CPL directly at the moulding process. Whether it’s applied in furniture fronts, doors, seats, wall panelling or in other applications such as construction or even in the automotive sector, 3DF is highly capable of bringing demanding designs into reality with maximum flexibility. 

Source: Wood Week