Man’s incredibly rare $120,000 find in Aussie forest

The log is just one of a small amount left in the Tasmanian forest.

An estimated 3000-year-old, three-tonne log has been discovered deep in a Tasmanian forest, with the item expected to fetch a whopping $120-$140,000 by the time it is crafted into furniture and other parts.

Bronte Booth, the Managing Director of Timber World who is milling the log on behalf of its current owner, told Yahoo News Australia the salvaged log of Huon pine is one of only a small amount left — its rarity contributing to its immense price.

On the west coast of Tasmania along the King River, Huon pine — which has been around for at least 100 million years — was once harvested commercially in the early 1800s. According to Bronte, the piners would chop the ancient trees down and leave the tops and stumps behind due to them being too heavy for horses to take. These leftover parts have since been salvaged over recent years, with numbers dwindling.

Image of the Huon Pine log.
This log of Huon pine is estimated to be 3,000 years old. Source: 7 Tasmania News

About eight log trucks worth of Huon Pine logs left

The tops and stumps of Huon pine have been found by timber specialists half-buried in the ground along the forest floor near Teepookana plateau and floating in bays since the early harvesting ended, though slowly there are fewer and fewer to be found.

"Recently, it's been exhausted and there are only about eight log trucks left," Bronte said.

Due to this scarcity, the three-tonne remains of the Huon pine are believed to have set the record for the most expensive log in the country according to Pulse Tasmania.

Image of part of the Huon pine log being held up.
Once crafted into furniture and other bits, the Huon pine log is expected to bring in around $120-$140,000 . Source: 7 Tasmania News

About Australia's oldest living trees

After being harvested commercially since the 1800s, the logging of Huon pine was banned in 1970s and today, around 85% of the remaining wild population is within Tasmanian reserves according to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

The slow-growing pine can live for around 3,000 years and can reach up to 40 metres high. Logs are prized not only for their rarity but also because of their golden honey colour and resistance to rot.

Bronte told Yahoo that after the many years of logging, the ancient Huon pine is just another example of why we need to "value" the forests we have. "[They're] worth far more than just chopping up and wasting — they're important to protect," he said.

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