Split Pale Fence
All trees used to manufacture our products are harvested from Agroforestry plantations on private land.
In Australia, Black Wattle, which is the predominant species used in split pale fence has in the past been classed as a species of secondary commercial value or even a species with no commercial value.
Black Wattle achieves its best form when grown as a companion plant amongst higher value trees such as eucalypts, where in competition for light it grows tall and straight. It is naturally an understorey species and as an acacia, it is a nitrogen fixer.
It is a small to medium quick growing Australian tree with a short life of generally not more than 50 years with a mature tree being around 20 to 30 years old.
Grown commercially in other parts of the world for timber, wood chips, shade and shelter and erosion control, Black Wattle is the only Acacia grown commercially and is the world's predominat source of tannins, used in industry, medicines and adhesives. The leather industry is a big user of tannins from Black wattle as is the reconstituted timber industry where its tannin is used in the production of water proof adhesives.
In much of Australia, Black Wattle and its close relative, Silver Wattle are regarded as weeds and it is much maligned by the forestry industry and farmers who both spend a lot of money removing it with whatever means available.
After extensive research in setting up Wattle and Wire, Black Wattle was selected from a number of species as the tree most suited to the production of split pale fence. It splits well, barks easily, has a consistent trunk diameter, is reasonably durable when mature, grows quickly, performs well amongst other species and is abundant though not always in good form.
It is a complementary species which will grow happily among eucalypts and even pines and has the capacity to provide the Agroforestry sector with a secondary and supplementary income before the main crop is harvested. This means more trees in the environment with multi-level plantations; an income from the understorey as well as the over-storey.
We selectively harvest the trees with care, leaving smaller trees to grow on and larger trees as seed, food and habitat trees. There will always be wattles left to continue fixing nitrogen in the soil at the end of our harvesting and some gentle encouragement to the farmer to consider re-planting or regeneration.