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Substitute Mahogany

With actual Mahogany going for around €1500 per cubic metre, there must surely be a market for a good alternative 🤔

I did attempt to grow Eucalyptus Robusta a couple of years ago without much success, though I would put the failure down to the area where it was planted. A very exposed part of my small patch of land where the ground isn’t particularly wet; Eucalyptus Robusta’s common name is “Swamp Mahogany” which will give you a good indication of the conditions it prefers.
Anyways I looked for a more hardy alternative and came across Eucalyptus Botryoides which is claimed to be slightly more hardy and adaptable 🤞🏼
I didn’t get a good germination from the Robusta this year, so the four additional ones I planted in the new area were all I had. I haven’t given up on Robusta, the foxes or the rats dug up most of the winter planting, but one remains and although blasted by the strong winds is is now recovering fast and putting out good strong basal growth. This is in contrast to the one I planted a couple of summers ago up on the bank which although it tried putting out new growth, was always weak.

So why am I so keen on Eucalyptus as a Mahogany substitute ?
My interest is commercial, say you plant some shelter with tall Hybrid Poplar and perhaps some lower, but fast growing trees to give even better protection while the Robusta and Botryoides establish, then a potential return on investment of €10,000 per acre per year 😁

Say you plant 400 trees and with the companion tree protection, at least 250 of these live till they are 10 years old and produce 2m3 per tree, this is conservative, both of these mahogany substitutes are fast growing and could reach a height of up to 20m in ten years.
So 2m3 per tree and 250 trees, 2 * 250 * €1500 = €750,000 in 10 years 😁 €75,000 per year per acre 😮

Let’s not get too enthusiastic ! this isn’t actual Mahogany, though Botryoides it is very high quality dark red hardwood and is currently grown commercially for constructional timber.

Lets be very conservative, unless you have a shop or retail outlet, you aren’t going to get €1,500 per cubic metre 🙁 Say around €800 here in Ireland if it was actual Mahogany and as this isn’t actual Mahogany, let’s say around €400 per cubic metre.
American White Oak currently goes for around €4,500 per cubic metre retail, high quality timber does command high quality prices 🙂

€400 * 250 trees = €100,000 / 10 years = €10,000 per year per acre gross without subsidy.

NOTE I am not including any planting, harvesting, transportation or processing costs, though ALSO NOTE that I am not taking into account large inflationary pressure on timber prices, rapid deforestation or other environmental pressures which may impact the rising cost of constructional timber.

So all in all I am personally convinced this is worth a punt, the initial costs are low and the potential earnings in the not particularly long term, ten years to harvesting are substantial 😉