Benefits of being a member
Where to start : Site Visits and Reports
OAN works with landholders to identify opportunities for commercial tree growing to complement farming and landscape management. Our team of experienced local tree growers help land managers explore their own interests in trees and provide guidance in accessing information, material; and where possible, financial support. Landholders receive a comprehensive written report which summaries the issues and opportunities discussed and provides suggestions for further action.
A helping hand : Peer Mentoring
It is one thing to see trees being planted, pruned or thinned on another farmer's land at a field day, but getting started on your own place (ordering the trees, preparing the site, planting, pruning, thinning or even harvesting) can be daunting.
Our team of Peer Group Mentors are trained and experienced tree growers who are available to oversee your project with you, on your own farm, to ensure it has the best chance of success. They are available to help you lay out a new plantation, prepare tree orders, plan site preparation, and show you how to plant the trees and guard them. OAN can also lend you some equipment and tools. It is your project: you are still responsible for providing the trees, chemicals and fences. We're there to help you implement it effectively and efficiently.
Growing your own furniture : Management and marketing of tree products
If you are keen to try managing your trees for timber, OAN can also provide one or two of our more experienced members to come and work with you for a few hours. This could involve pruning or thinning an existing plantation. The idea is that you gain the knowledge and skills required to finish the work yourself.
OAN can also help you find and engage contractors, set up permanent plots and measure timber growth and volume production or help you prepare a harvesting plan. For those members with well-established, pruned plantations, OAN is offering the opportunity to look inside your logs and take home some of your own farm-grown timber. We will help harvest the trees, bring a portable sawmill onto your site, mill a few logs and then help you dry the timber. There's nothing quite like growing your own furniture.
Sharing the love : Field days, seminars and workshops
Within our region we have some of the best examples of agroforestry, farm forestry and farm revegetation in Australia. OAN runs regular farm walks and field days so that landholders can share their experience and see for themselves what works in their own area.
Being well known, we have access to many regional and national speakers and regularly conduct seminars and workshops for members. Recent presentations have included topics such as climate variability, biomass for energy, natural pest control and international agroforestry development.
Amongst our membership we have growers who have harvested pruned sawlogs, pulpwood, firewood, Shiitake mushrooms, Mountain Pepper, tree seed, Christmas trees and many other commercial tree products. To share and enhance our knowledge we run regular production and marketing workshops, continue to explore opportunities for value-adding and collective marketing, and put growers in touch with buyers and help them negotiate a reasonable price.
Spreading the knowledge : Education, training and employment
OAN was the first regional group to work with the University of Melbourne to deliver the 8-day Australian Master TreeGrower Program. We have since run a number of these courses and will continue to do so when there is sufficient interest amongst our members. Some of our past Master TreeGrowers have undertaken further training in mentoring and are now employed on a casual basis to provide peer mentoring support for other members.
As funds become available there are opportunities for experienced tree growers and contractors to be paid to help us develop and deliver our programs. We are always interested in new ideas and are continually seeking new funding opportunities that can help us better serve our members and our community.
How to join
OAN has two levels of membership:
- Full Member $66 (incl GST)
- Associate Member $44 (incl.GST)
Download a copy of the OAN membership brochure, fill in your details, follow payment options and return form to OAN, 53-57 Main Street, Birregurra, VIC 3242