Mindful of the people and environment we operate in, unlike most industry players, we reject mechanised harvesting practices in favour of labour-intensive practices. This allows us to employ approximately 1500 staff members from our surrounding community where unemployment rates are high.
We also support local schools, churches, creches and other community organisations. In addition, we are actively involved in supporting neighbouring land reform beneficiaries with our forestry operations. Unplanted areas within plantations are conserved as representative ecosystems and provide habitats for natural fauna and flora.
Bracken Sawmill is FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council®) C005849 and SABS Certified, and BBBEE Compliant.
Young seedlings, grown in a nursery, are planted out into the field and watered, if necessary, until their roots begin to take. Seedlings that do not survive the initial planting are replaced with new ones in a process called blanking, to ensure a full stand.
Weed competition is kept to a minimum by spraying weeds with approved chemicals when they appear. This is necessary until the small trees reach canopy, where they will then naturally keep the weed competition to a minimum.
In order to prevent the young trees from being damaged by chemical spraying and weed competition, the area immediately around the tree is kept free of weeds by manually hoeing the competing weeds out.
Trees are pruned at four stages during the tree’s early life, This is done by pruning the lower, dead branches off. This ensures the best quality, knot-free timber when sawn into planks.
At three stages during the life cycle pine stands are thinned out, removing trees which are stunted or have inferior stem form, thereby allowing the remaining trees (about a quarter of those originally planted) the best chance to grow into superior quality saw logs.
At 28-30 years old, the pine stands are harvested and delivered to the mill. Harvesting is done with people as well as machines and plantation residue (branches, etc.) are left on the ground to minimise soil erosion and compaction resulting from harvesting operations. Logs are delivered to the sawmill within a few days of harvesting in order to produce the best possible planks and woodchips.
At Bracken Timbers sawmill logs are sawn and kiln dried, before being graded, planed, CCA treated and finger jointed to customer requirements, offering the best variety of quality lumber for the building, industrial, hardware, crating and furniture manufacturing industries.
With a fleet of truck-tractors as well as smaller rigid trucks, Bracken Timbers is able to deliver to almost any customer’s doorstep from Bizana to Benoni, and Pinetown to Pretoria. Exceptional customer service is of utmost importance to Bracken Timbers.
Tour our comprehensive and environmentally sound Forestry processes here.
Discover our no-till soybean and monoculture-busting maize production activities.
Learn more about our charcoal production and minimum-to-no waste process here.
Explore the Bracken process of producing lumber of exceptional quality.