Seedling Life
Tuchekoi Native Timbers at Tuchekoi on the Sunshine Coast
Tuchekoi Native Timbers at Tuchekoi on the
Sunshine Coast
Marcus Yates (Field Manager) with Jack Mitchell & the work group
Marcus Yates (Field Manager) with Jack Mitchell &
the work group

Investment Info

Mitchell's Forest farming System offers excellent investment opportunities for the private grower. Our methods, although different to traditional forestry, result in far greater growth rates than most other methods currently in use.

Our advanced planting and mechanical weed control methods makes for easy management technology especially for large scale plantings. We offer affordable training workshops with ongoing follow-up field tuition for the private owner-grower and for tuition for management staff of large scale plantings.


The Mitchell Forest Farming method has been developed as a financially and environmentally responsible method of planting and managing plantations of high value cabinet timbers. These plantings are designed to achieve the maximum possible growth and maturity rates which gives us our first thinning and milling of silver quandong (Elaeocarpus grandis) at 8 to 10 years of age providing the full planting and management of the Mitchell System is in place,
The following points relate to achieving the maximum possible growth and maturity rates which must be strictly adhered to.

(1). Our plantations are designed to be financially and environmentally sustainable.

(2). Our plantations are permanent with self regeneration enabling a regular periodic selected harvest. The harvesting is best carried out by on-site milling which will not greatly disrupt the wildlife occupying these permanent forests of native trees.

(3). We use only a small amount of organic fertilisers when the trees are planted. Trees are watered in at planting and providing good soil moisture is present will not need watering again. No further application of fertiliser is needed. Total weed control is necessary for the first two to three years when full canopy cover will be achieved and weed growth will be reduced to a minimum.

(4). All the species we grow in these plantations produce high value timber. These species reach maturity at various stages. These timbers were well known in the furniture trade world wide at the time when we had extensive rainforests but with the clearing of these rainforests and no plantations being established, these timbers have now disappeared from our timber yards and have been replaced by imported timbers.

(5). My interest in these valuable timbers from the early fifties led to me setting out planting trials in old banana plantations. There was great difficulty in obtaining seedlings of any of these trees except for hoop pine which is a very high value timber but of little use to the private grower as it takes 40 to 60 years to mature. I was very impressed by the growth rates of some of the other species which I was experimenting with in the old banana plantations.

(6). On my retirement from banana growing in 1982 I had the opportunity to devote more time into the research of growing these trees in plantation form. In my early research I found that these trees which originated in the rainforests of the tropics and sub-tropics of Queensland and Northern New
South Wales have a very shallow nutrient gathering root system and needed special methods to be grown successfully in plantation form as the root system would have to be protected by mulching.
For that reason our early research plantations of about one quarter hectare were totally mulched.

(7). With the results achieved in these early experiments it was proven that a design mix of species could produce a very viable plantation. Over the years we have progressed to a stage where we now have defined the species which will establish fast maturing and fast growing plantations. We use ten species from which we choose five for any location according to soil type and rainfall. Silver quandong which is our fastest growing height promoting species can only be grown in frost free areas where the rainfall is 1000 mls. or more and is used in areas from Maxville in N.S.W. to North of Cairns in Queensland.

(8). Our latest method of establishing plantations is to have a good grass cover over the area to be planted which is then slashed low and when the stubble shoots is then boom sprayed over the entire area to achieve a total kill of all grass and weeds. This stubble then acts as a very effective ground cover as the trees are planted into this stubble. There must be no soil disturbance by ripping. The grass cover provides a natural loosening of the soil and holds the moisture for the trees.

(9). Our aim is to provide a low cost high growth rate establishment method which gives a sound investment opportunity. These plantations can be established on unused land of any size but to be recognised as a viable plantation for taxation purposes has to be at least 2 ha.

(10). Our latest research into a non-native high value timber has proven highly successful,  African Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) can now be grown in our plantations.  This is a fast growing, fast maturing deep red timber.

We now also have developed a method of tip moth control for Red Cedar (Toona ciliata) which can now been grown highly successfully in our plantations when tip moth control is carried out methodically for one year.

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