Monthly Archives: October 2014

Trees on Farms videos (featuring blackwood)

I’ve recently realised that the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association has posted videos on their excellent website featuring farmers who grow blackwood. on Farms videos

Two of these videos are particularly good.

One features Malcolm McKenzie who is a passionate farmer and blackwood grower. Trees are combined with dairy support grazing on this 57-hectare block, with trees occupying the steeper land. Malcolm grows top-quality blackwoods as well as poplar, cypresses and radiata pine. Markets for blackwoods are discussed.

The other video features Northland farmer Brian Simms. Brian’s farm combines grazing with high value trees. Tree species planted include radiata pine, blackwood and silky oak (Grevillea robusta). Brian plants for erosion control and beautification of the farm, while also producing high value timber.

The passion and enthusiasm of these farmers is clearly evident. All of these videos are well worth watching. Much of the country reminds me of areas in northern Tasmania. Excellent farming country with pockets of steep and difficult land very suitable for growing high value timber such as blackwood.

Now how do we encourage Tasmanian farmers to copy their Kiwi peers?


Latest IST blackwood tender results

The latest tender results have been posted by Island Specialty Timbers. These tender results provide the only publically available open, competitive prices for blackwood logs.

The September tender had 26 parcels.

24 of the 26 logs and timber lots sold at fair to very strong prices, including a record price for one black-heart sassafras log, $3800 / m3.

Great news!

The one blackwood log in the tender was a mixed blessing. The log contained both fiddle-back and tear drop figure. But these attributes came with issues: fluting, spiral grain, severe log taper, with holes and limbs. Generally a difficult log, but [as IST described] contains excellent material for turning blanks or a low recovery of figured timber.

It looks a monster!

IST 0914 log20

Length 3.6 metres, butt diameter 95 cm, head diameter 73 cm, volume 1.99 cubic metres.

And this mixed blessing sold for $1,000 per cubic metre or just under $2,000 for the log.

A great price!

Remember this is a mill door equivalent price, not a stumpage price.

The one blackwood log tendered at the previous IST tender in August failed to sell. It too was a difficult log but with plain rather than figured grain. Clearly the market for figured blackwood timber will pay any money for any quality log whatsoever.

The last IST Geeveston tender for 2014 will open on Monday 27 October and close at 4.00 pn on Monday 10 November 2014.   A range of logs, slabs and sawn timber will be offered. 

The Fall Limited Sweepstakes


Up for grabs, this beauty from Taylor Guitars. Unfortunately this sweepstakes is only open to US and Canadian residents.

The Taylor 510e-FLTD is a limited edition Dreadnought featuring Tasmanian blackwood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top. Neo-vintage aesthetic strokes include a shaded edgeburst body and neck, plus ivoroid appointments anchored by the Century fretboard inlay. We’ve partnered with Dunlop and to offer the perfect player package, which includes a personalized pick tin, a supply of Dunlop Primetone picks, and a Victor capo. The winner will also receive a one-year membership to with unlimited access to thousands of guitar lessons. One (1) grand prize winner will receive:

  • One (1) Taylor 510e-FLTD
  • One (1) Year Membership to
  • One (1) Year Supply of Primetone Guitar Picks
  • One (1) Dunlop Victor Capo
  • One (1) Personalized Dunlop Pick Tin.

Great prize and great promotion and support for Tasmanian blackwood from Taylor Guitars.

I wonder if I can get my sister in the US to enter the competition for me?