19 Nov 2013

Warning over fly-by-night tree fellers

6:36 am on 19 November 2013

Canterbury land owners who still have to clear away trees knocked down in the spring storms should get good advice so they're not ripped off, the Farm Forestry Association says.

It's estimated the wind storms in September and October left more than a million tonnes of timber lying on the ground throughout Canterbury.

The storms knocked down entire shelter belts and left commercial plantations and woodlots in ruins.

Commercial plantation owners have called in contractors from other areas to help with the harvesting of wind-blown timber.

But Farm Forestry Association president Ian Jackson said farmers and other landowners needed to be cautious about accepting offers to clear their fallen trees.

"Don't agree to the first guy that comes in the gate and says 'I'll clean those trees up and you won't get a bill, or I might send you a bill'," Mr Jackson said.

"Any trees over about 20 years old have a quite commercial value and I would that say in most cases there will be a return to the farmer, rather than getting a bill just to 'clean up', as the fly-by-nighter might say."

The association could provide advice on replanting, once the clean up was done, he said.