Blackwood Forest

Blackwood trees.Blackwood forest regenerates without any large scale disturbance such as fire. However, over most of its range blackwood forest forms a stage in the development of rainforest.

Blackwood forest (Acacia melanoxylon) is widespread in lowland Tasmania, except on the most infertile soils. It dominates forests in well-drained areas where temperate rainforest has been burnt. In these situations it represents a stage in the regeneration of temperate rainforest. In swampy areas on fertile soils blackwood may persist as the dominant species in the absence of fire.

Where to see blackwood forest

The best blackwood forests in Tasmania occur in the swampy flats between Smithton and Marrawah and they can be seen from a nature trail at Dismal Swamp. Blackwood forest that represents a stage of rainforest regeneration can be seen along the main roads to the south, east and west of Queenstown.

Biodiversity values of blackwood forest

Swamp forest dominated by blackwood has been heavily cleared and drained for dairying and is inadequately protected in Tasmania's reserve system. The other type of forest dominated by blackwood is adequately reserved and is in no danger of extinction.Blackwood trees and clearing

Refer to Threatened Species page for more information.

Management issues for blackwood forest

The main management issue for blackwood forest is the exclusion of fire. While blackwood may, in some situations, require an occasional fire to maintain their dominance, unplanned frequent fires are likely to prevent them becoming an extensive feature of the landscape. This vegetation type is not suitable for planned burning because of their fuel loads.

Extreme stock disturbance or logging can open up the understorey of this vegetation types sufficiently to allow the invasion of some weeds, notably blackberry (Rubus fruticosus).

The management recommendations for these vegetation types are:
  • exclude fire
  • control woody weeds
See also Weeds on this site for more information.