Victorian blue gum plantation could pay for itself

The Glenlogie land could be just as suited for farming once it has been harvested.

A blue gum plantation up for grabs in regional Victoria is set to prove you can’t just sell the forest for the trees.

The 365ha timber growing property on Raglan-Elmhurst Rd, Glenlogie is expected to top $720,000 — but with hundreds of hectares of trees within five years of harvesting, and the infrastructure to do so already in place, the timber on the property could be worth even more.

Ray White’s Josh Todd is handling the unusual sale and says with recent trade deals between Australian woodchipping companies and China working out to about $250 a bone dry metric tonne, the value is literally growing for the forest in the state’s north west.

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“The timing of the maturity of this plantation should coincide with a period of relative scarcity of wood chips as some growers have exited the market with the former plantation land now being reverted to farmland,” Todd says.

But it might not be the forest itself that wins over a buyer.

A 364.6ha forest is up for sale on the Raglan-Elmhurst Rd, Glenlogie.

The Japanese owners — VIZ Australia Pty Ltd — are turning over a new leaf even though the trees on site are now about seven years old and closing in on their second harvest.

Despite its current international connection, an Australian buyer is most likely to branch out for the unusual investment opportunity. And while a woodchipper is one possibility, land bankers, developers or farmers are among the other candidates, Todd says.

“(And) if you were a developer or a farmer wanting to return the land to it original productivity, the income from the timber could be used to offset developments costs,” he said.

But it might take some serious green to chop your way clear of the competition, with expectations offers will top $800 an acre (4000sqm), adding up to more than $720,000.

Approximately 70% of the property is planted.

“It’s hard to say (what the price will be) as there are very few sales of standing blue gum timber — most are sold post harvest,” Mr Todd said.

As an added bonus for prospective buyers, a harvested allotment of this size could potentially be worth even more.

Todd points to recent sales that equate to $1150 per acre for harvested sites, with more interest in such sites from those looking for farm land that could be used immediately.

The property’s price will depend on how many people see the profits for the trees.

Nine dams, natural water courses and impressive rural views could also suit developers looking to carve it up for smaller, but still sizeable allotments.

“The existing land comprises 11 freehold titles and would permit the boundaries to be realigned and the sold of as 100 acre farmlets,” Todd says.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Glenlogie property to show you can’t just sell the forest for the trees”.