Current issue: 54(2)
The profitability of fast-growing trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh., Acacia mangium Willd. and Melia azedarach L.) was investigated in the north-eastern and eastern provinces of Thailand. The financial, economic, and tentative environmental-economic profitability was determined separately for three fast-growing plantation tree species and for three categories of plantation managers: the private industry, the state (the Royal Forest Department) and the farmers. Fast-growing tree crops were also compared with teak (Tectona grandis L. f.), a traditional medium or long rotation species, and Para rubber (Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg.) which presently is the most common cultivated tree in Thailand.
The optimal rotation for Eucalyptus camaldulensis pulpwood production was eight years. This was the most profitable species in pulpwood production. In sawlog production Acacia mangium and Melia azedarach showed a better financial profitability. Para rubber was more profitable and teak less profitable than the three fast-growing species. The economic profitability was higher than the financial one, and the tentative environmental-economic profitability was slightly higher than the economic profitability.
The profitability of tree growing is sensitive to plantation yields and labour cost changes and especially to wood prices. Management options which aim at pulpwood production are more sensitive to input or output changes than those options which include sawlog production. There is an urgent need to improve the growth and yield data and to study the environmental impacts of tree plantations for all species and plantation types.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.