Plantation forestry is the second largest production land use in the Northern Territory (NT) after beef grazing, with more than 47,000 ha of the NT currently growing forest products.
There are three plantation operations in the NT where companies grow African mahogany, black wattle or sandalwood.
African mahogany, Khaya senegalensis, is being grown in the Douglas-Daly region to produce high-value sawn timber used for flooring, fine furniture or veneers. The 14,000 ha, unirrigated plantation is the largest African mahogany plantation in the world, with a predicted rotation of 17 - 22 years.
Black wattle, Acacia mangium, is being grown on the Tiwi islands for woodchip to produce pulp. The approximately 30,000 ha of forest is expected to produce 200,000 and 400,000 green metric tonnes of wood chip for export each year.
Sandalwood, Santalum album, is grown in irrigated, mixed-species plantations to produce sandalwood oil for pharmaceutical and ceremonial markets worldwide. The more than 4,000 ha of plantations in the NT, centred around Katherine, are part of the largest area of sandalwood plantations in the world.
Listed below are links to growing advice for forestry enterprises in the NT.
Read the Agnote Mahogany - growing African mahogany in Northern Australia .
Read the report African Mahogany grown in Australia, wood quality and potential uses .
Read the Agnote Growing teak in the Top End .
Pest and disease management
Visit the Northern Territory Insects database to identify an insect pest and the damage it can cause.
Read the Agnote Teak Leaf Rust .
Read the Agnotes listed below for information about past research into forestry species for the NT.
- Performance of a 16-year-old stand of teak in the Darwin area compared with trials in other areas of the NT .
- Part 1: Evaluation of the Wood Quality and Utilisation Potential of Plantation grown Khaya senegalensis (African Mahogany)
- Part 2: Evaluation of the Wood Quality and Utilisation Potential of Plantation grown Khaya senegalensis (African Mahogany)
Read the Agnotes listed below for general information about forestry in the NT:
- Growing trees on rural properties - timber products
- Opportunities for growing tree crops in the Top End
- Potential cost and returns for timber production in the NT .
Sustainable forestry and accreditation
For information about sustainable forestry, and forest certification schemes, visit the Australian government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.
Last updated: 05 February 2020