Our work can be divided into four divisions: Forestry, Sawmill, Charcoal and Agriculture.
Learn more about each division below.
Construction on Bracken Sawmill began in 1979. The production line comprised of two framesaws, a board edger and cross-cut saw. Planks were dried in brick and mortar kilns, utilising energy from steam generated by a single boiler.
Since then, the sawmill has grown exponentially over the years, and now boasts three production lines with the capacity to cut over 90,000 cubic metres per annum, using modern technology.
Upon arrival at the mill, sawlogs pass through a laser scanner system, which sorts them according to diameter class into seven logyard bays under a gantry crane. The logs are then fed into either of the wetmill production lines, where they are first debarked, then fed through a series of saws. Our mill utilises framesaws and horizontal…
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.
In line with our ethos of minimum-to-no-waste, we product charcoal from Black Wattle.
We are a medium-sized producer, packer and exporter of a wide range of top-quality wood charcoal products. We pride ourselves on the quality of our charcoal products, always considering the well-being of our staff and the environment.
At Bracken, we practice conservation agriculture. We take what nature provides and practice sustainable agriculture – farming without harming the environment. This way we proudly supply a resulting quality product, which is the Bracken way. We have carefully selected our farmlands to ensure ideal growing conditions for our crops, whilst keeping abreast of technology.
We have 375ha of agricultural land, which is used for the production of seed maize and soya’s. Seed maize helps with sustaining employment in the area and fits in perfectly with our Forestry operations. We also have a seed maize drier to ensure that top quality seed is produced.
Soybeans are planted and used as rotation crops to break the practice of monoculture and to provide the seed maize with a volunteer-free seedbed.
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.