Plantation forestry

ForestryAustralian Forest Products Association represent the biosecurity interests of the plantation timber industry. They are members of Plant Health Australia and signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives
  • participating in national committees and response efforts in an emergency.

Industry overview

In 2014–15, plantation forestry production was valued at $1.7 billion (LVP). The forest, wood and paper products sector is Australia’s eighth largest manufacturing industry.

In 2015–16, 24.5 million cubic metres of logs were harvested from plantation estates for processing in Australia for international export. Plantations provide around 83 per cent of the log resources. Plantings are split almost evenly between softwood and hardwood.

The softwood plantation estate of over one million hectares is dominated by exotic species of pine: Pinus radiata in southern states, P. elliottii and P. caribaea in Queensland and northern NSW, and P. pinaster in WA. There is also a notable area (around 50,000 hectares) of native hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) in the south east of Queensland and northern NSW. Softwood plantations are predominately long rotation and produce saw, peeler and pulp logs for a range of products including sawn timber, wood-based panels, engineered wood products, paper and paperboard.

The hardwood plantation estate of just under one million hectares is predominantly species of eucalypts grown for pulp and export woodchips. Around 10 per cent of hardwood is grown for saw logs to supplement the native forest sawlog supply. There are also some small plantings of Acacia mangium, African mahogany and sandalwood grown in the NT and northern WA.

Plantations are grown mainly in the medium rainfall zones (greater than 700 mm but less than 1,200 mm) along the east coast and south west corner of mainland Australia, as well as in Tasmania and NT.

The plantation forestry industry is covered by version 2.0 of the plantation forest biosecurity plan and the Biosecurity Manual for the Plantation Timber Industry version 1.0.

Annual value of plantation forestry production 2007–15 (LVP)

Distribution of plantation forestry production by state and territory 2014–15 (based on LVP)

Forestry IBPPlantation Forest Biosecurity Plan

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the plantation timber industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Plantation Forest Biosecurity Plan outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans. For a copy, please contact PHA on (02) 6215 7700 or email

Biosecurity Manual for Plantation Timber coverBiosecurity Manual for the Plantation Timber Industry

The Biosecurity Manual for Plantation Timber Industry contains information to help producers and plantation managers to implement biosecurity. Manuals usually contain an overview of biosecurity, fact sheets to identify the high priority pests of a crop, tips on crop management, and how to manage people, vehicles and equipment to minimise biosecurity risks.

Manuals also contain a biosecurity self-assessment list, and templates to record pest surveillance records and visitors. More information about on-farm biosecurity for both plant and livestock producers is available from the Farm Biosecurity website.

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of plantation forests. These pests were identified during the development of the Plantation Forest Biosecurity Plan in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Asian subterranean termite Coptotermes gestroi
Burning moth Hylesia nigricans
Chrysoporthe canker Chrysoporthe austroafricana, Chrysoporthe cubensis FS
Dano foliar del Pino Phytophthora pinifolia FS
Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus
Giant wood wasp Urocerus gigas FS
Guava (Eucalyptus) rust Austropuccinia psidii (exotic variants) (formerly Puccinia psidii)
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar and Lymantria mathura FS FS FS CP
Longhorn beetles Monochamus spp. including M. alternatus, M. galloprovinicialis, M. titillator, M. scutellatus FS
Mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae FS
Nun moth Lymantria monacha FS
Pine pitch canker Fusarium circinatum FS
Pine shoot beetle Tomicus piniperda
Pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus FS
Red needle cast Phytophthora pluvialis FS
Red turpentine beetle Dendroctonus valens FS DP
Spruce bark beetle Ips typographus FS
Sudden oak death Phytophthora ramorum 1 FS FS CP DP
Teratosphaeria stem canker Teratosphaeria gauchensis, Teratosphaeria zuluensis FS
Western gall rust Endocronartium harknessii FS DP
White spotted tussock moth Orgyia thyellina FS

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of plantation forests. Please note that this is not a complete list of pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not tailored to plantation forests and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Black twig borer Xylosandrus compactus FS
Citrus longicorn beetle Anoplophora chinensis FS CP
Omnivorous leaf roller Platynota stultana FS
Orange tortrix Argyrotaenia citrana FS
Shoot borers Hypsipyla spp FS
Ten-lined June beetle Polyphylla decemlineata FS