Forestry lies at the heart of our operations. We own approximately 7500 ha of forestry plantations in the Umvoti district. Our pine plantations are grown on a rotation of 28 – 30 years with Pinus patula being grown at higher altitudes and Pinus elliottii grown at lower altitudes or more marginal sites. These plantations are pruned at four stages during the life cycle to achieve a pruning height of 10m – 12m at age 12 years. Plantations are also thinned out at three stages during the life cycle to achieve a final stocking of around 300 trees per hectare. These operations ensure that the saw timber processed at our sawmill is of the highest quality, with logs having the greatest diameters with as few knots as possible. This allows the production of excellent quality S5 and S7 structural products, as well as more non-standard sizes, thereby offering our customers a wider variety of products such as clears and semi-clears.
Other products include smaller industrial logs, which are supplied to other local sawmills and pulpwood logs. Bracken’s pine plantations are able to sustainably produce 60,000m3 of pine sawtimber per annum.
Wattle plantations are grown on a rotation of ten years, producing bark for supply to local factories, which use this for leather tanning extract products or natural adhesive products. Pulpwood from wattle plantations is supplied to woodchip plants on the KwaZulu-Natal coast for export – mainly to Japan and other Eastern countries. Timber unsuitable for pulpwood is supplied to Bracken’s charcoal retorts/carbonisers.
Unplanted areas within the plantations are conserved as representative ecosystems and provide habitats for natural fauna and flora. Bracken’s forestry areas are FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council®) certified under the N.C.T umbrella scheme.
Bracken Timber Mills uses approved forestry practices, protects young growth as much as possible and only logs when ground conditions are fit. We are affiliated with Forestry South Africa (FSA), Sawmilling South Africa (SSA), and are FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council®) and SABS Certified. Certification ensures that our forests are managed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
Customers can rest assured that our wood products come from healthy forests.
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.