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Thread: Ash die back and Coillte

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    Default Ash die back and Coillte

    Found the following story curiously interesting in the context of the threat of ash die back and Coillte's response, in consideration of the possibility or likelihood of Coillte's privatisation as previously discussed on here

    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...e-3304455.html

    So let me get this straight? Imported ash currently accounts for perhaps 70% of Hurley manufacturing, yet our national forestry agency has never envisaged this as heralding a potential growth (excuse the pun!) area ripe for native raw material substitution? Until such time as an artificial market protectionism device brought about through the threat of disease shows that Coillte are actually well capable of meeting near total raw material demand after all?

    Does this not smack of deliberate wilfully incompetent operation of a semi state, with an intent far removed from being in the best interests if the country, by market capitalisation and exploitation of our natural resources to the fullest extent possible?

    If I wasn't such a cynic, I'd actually believe that Coillte's main intent in recent years,was to make itself appear so totally incompetent, as to have no problem whatsoever in justification of its privatisation!

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    The figure of 70% is meaningless. How many tonnes of demand is there for ash? How many tonnes demand is there for other types? What's the market price per tonne?

    There's no obligation on Coilte or the government to make less money for the taxpayer just so you can have made in Ireland sticker on your bloody hurley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    The figure of 70% is meaningless. How many tonnes of demand is there for ash? How many tonnes demand is there for other types? What's the market price per tonne?

    There's no obligation on Coilte or the government to make less money for the taxpayer just so you can have made in Ireland sticker on your bloody hurley.
    There's obviously a market demand of 70% more than Coillte have proved capable of supplying to date.

    Or maybe you are correct in speculating that our national forestry agency is incapable of producing a similar quality raw material at a price competitive to imported alternatives?

    Either way it smacks of gross (or deliberate) incompetence by Coillte.

    Surely, like everything else, it is far preferable to at least attempt to meet market demand with a home grown product, even at a slight premium, as opposed to a dependence on imports.

    Has there not long since been a role for a Coillte marketing representative to pitch the native raw material and patriotic duty option to Irish Hurley manufacturers? Instead of being apparently content to sit back and let foreign producers pick up the slack, until such time as a potential crises in supply actually compels them to action?

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    It'd be very funny if there was a similar disease destroying Sitka spruce throughout Europe. Coillte would be screwed, but forests might sing again...

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    We do got plenty of those ash trees here but it could be a problom since ash takes a good while to replace and we don't want our ash forest to be barren.

    Maybe get some experts in to help speed up the ashs growth and make them ressistant to this new ash disease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomaso12 View Post
    We do got plenty of those ash trees here but it could be a problom since ash takes a good while to replace and we don't want our ash forest to be barren.

    Maybe get some experts in to help speed up the ashs growth and make them ressistant to this new ash disease.
    The main growth area for ash is as firewood, as there has been a huge growth in wood-burning stoves and ash is the best firewood by a margin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomaso12 View Post
    We do got plenty of those ash trees here but it could be a problom since ash takes a good while to replace and we don't want our ash forest to be barren.

    Maybe get some experts in to help speed up the ashs growth and make them ressistant to this new ash disease.
    Unfortunately the term experts and Coillte don't seem to fit together too well. Competence doesn't really fit the equation either.

    Don't meant to be intentionally defeatist but, when greater minds in Europe have failed on this one, I wouldn't hold out much hope for a resolution coming from either Coillte or the dept of agriculture

    I do take your point though about the relative scarcity of mature ash forests in the state (mature being circa 30 years I think), which, if this thing persists for more than a few years would seem to have the potential to pose a major threat to our native ash forests from harvesting, as much as the threat posed by the die back affliction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by retep View Post
    There's obviously a market demand of 70% more than Coillte have proved capable of supplying to date.

    Or maybe you are correct in speculating that our national forestry agency is incapable of producing a similar quality raw material at a price competitive to imported alternatives?

    Either way it smacks of gross (or deliberate) incompetence by Coillte.

    Surely, like everything else, it is far preferable to at least attempt to meet market demand with a home grown product, even at a slight premium, as opposed to a dependence on imports.

    Has there not long since been a role for a Coillte marketing representative to pitch the native raw material and patriotic duty option to Irish Hurley manufacturers? Instead of being apparently content to sit back and let foreign producers pick up the slack, until such time as a potential crises in supply actually compels them to action?
    You're missing the point: Hurling's demand is irrelevant. Who on earth cares what hurling needs apart from people who play hurling? It's not Coillte's issue. They're not going to bloody think "Well Hurling wants to get 100% of their hurleys from ash and BillyBoBob's furniture wants to make 13% of their products from oak and they're both Irish so we should make sure to sort them both out". The identity of the customer isn't relevant. How many tonnes of Ash are needed? Is that demand as sustained and as profitable as other types of wood? Is it as easy to grow?

    What "Patriotic duty" are you on about? Honestly do you work at all? What patriotic duty does any organisation have outside paying taxes and obeying the law?

    Do you think it's Coillte's job to make sure Hurling's ok?

    And let's not forget the cherry on the insanity pie you've baked: You're ragging on Coillte for not growing more of a tree that's basically going to be ****ing extinct in the UK and Ireland due to imported disease.

    Deadly ash tree 'dieback' disease now found in 115 sites and a further six counties - Home News - UK - The Independent
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomaso12 View Post
    We do got plenty of those ash trees here but it could be a problom since ash takes a good while to replace and we don't want our ash forest to be barren.

    Maybe get some experts in to help speed up the ashs growth and make them ressistant to this new ash disease.
    We haven't got plenty. Circa 5000 hectares of Ash max.
    Trees grow fasted in Ireland than any other European country.
    Now get this statistic.
    We have less forestry than Tunisia per km2.
    Abysmal.
    List of countries by forest area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post

    You're missing the point: Hurling's demand is irrelevant. Who on earth cares what hurling needs apart from people who play hurling? It's not Coillte's issue. They're not going to bloody think "Well Hurling wants to get 100% of their hurleys from ash and BillyBoBob's furniture wants to make 13% of their products from oak and they're both Irish so we should make sure to sort them both out". The identity of the customer isn't relevant. How many tonnes of Ash are needed? Is that demand as sustained and as profitable as other types of wood? Is it as easy to grow?

    What "Patriotic duty" are you on about? Honestly do you work at all? What patriotic duty does any organisation have outside paying taxes and obeying the law?

    Do you think it's Coillte's job to make sure Hurling's ok?

    And let's not forget the cherry on the insanity pie you've baked: You're ragging on Coillte for not growing more of a tree that's basically going to be ****ing extinct in the UK and Ireland due to imported disease.

    Deadly ash tree 'dieback' disease now found in 115 sites and a further six counties - Home News - UK - The Independent
    I don't believe I'm missing the point whatsoever.

    It seems quite a no brainer to me that if there is a demand for 350,000 hurleys per annum in Ireland. Resulting in a corresponding raw material demand for ash to manufacture these hurleys. And that, to date, if our native supply has only been able to fulfill 30% of this level of demand, with our state forestry agency showing a distinct bias for and preference towards growing low grade, low margin conifers instead, then someone in Coillte has seriously missed the boat.

    Does it not make sense to show some sort of preference for growing a timber crop for which there seems to be a ready made domestic market of 2.3 times current production capacity as opposed to favouring conifers with a similar lifespan to maturity (30 years) which require huge logistics for transporting across the country for export from the SE.

    In terms of patriotic duty, I mean an obligation by our state forestry agency to demonstrate a desire to protect our native flora hardwood species such as ash and oak, by ensuring these species are amply represented in national forestry stock, alongside non native conifers. Surely this is, or should be, one of the cornerstone functions of any national forestry agency worth its salt - a trustee of a state's natural forestry resources if you like.

    And in terms of what you seem to regard as the insanity clause of focusing on a tree crop that may well be under threat of extinction on these islands in the coming years. For starters this threat has only appeared on the radar in recent years, so it's not like Coillte can throw it out as an excuse for not favouring ash or other native hardwoods for the past 20-30 years.

    And secondly, surely this in itself is justification for Coillte to make arrangements for some contingency, to attempt to protect our native species perhaps by planting of isolated pockets of ash plantations or making some other efforts to preserve a native stock, in the hope that some of them may survive such a potential onslaught.

    Yes I am ragging on Coillte for well founded and hopelessly incompetent mismanagement of our forestry resources for over four decades, of which this story illustrating the state of the native ash crop is the latest instalment

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