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THE MOTU TIMBER.

INSPECTION BY AN EXPERT.

A MOST FAVORABLE REPORT

The views that have frequently been ex- : pressed as to the value of the timber m! ; the Motu district have received most ; abundant confirmation, after a visit of m- i : spection paid by Mr James Prouse, the J ! well-known sawmiller of Levin, Mana- j i watu, one of the most experienced millers , m the colony. Mr Prouse returned to Gisborne last night, after three days spent'! amongst the hills and valleys of the j Motu, and he comes back charmed with I the country, aud highly impressed with its suitability for the establishment Of the , sawmilling industry. With Mr Hutchinson as pilot, he covered a great amount of ground, and took many surveys of the land from the tops of hills, for, says Mr Prouse, "I am an old New Zealander, used to bush life, and whenever we came to any likely country I would climb to the hilltops to get a good view." His general impressions were that under the lee of the western hills, where the bush was not so much affected by; the wind, the timber was best and finest, but altogether it is splendid bush. On both sides of the river for miles there is good timber. Mr Prouse travelled up the Waiwhero Valley, ten miles long, with a beautifully easy grade, and found the timber to be very fine, being lengthy and clean m the barrel, and not ring-straked. In some districts, he explained, where there is stony ground the timber, is liable to run m circles from the heart of the tree, so that when it is cut it splits and falls to pieces. There is no stony ground m the Motu, and no ring-straked 1 timber. In the bush that he saw Mr Prouse judged the timber to be about 1 two-thirds rimu, a little less, than one-third. white pine.and the balance matai (a very valuable timber), a few totaras, maire, and kaikawhaka, a timber that itJs suggested may be used for the manufacture of lead pencils. There was a great deal of black birch on the high flats, but it was a different birch to that which he has been used to handle, and he cannot speak as to its quality. It is, however, big, heavy timber, m shapely^looking trees, like totaras, and. should be valuable. All land over 200Qft Tiigh is Covered with it. From the Waiwhero Valley, before mentioned, Mr Prouse travelled past Hansen's, and on the lefthand side of the valley he saw a; very valuable block 'of bush. He ascended the hill at Richardson's and look-ed-across a valley, perhaps a mile, perhaps two miles wide, thickly clad with first-class timber. Below Hansen's,\ on this side, there had been splendid areas of bush destroyed. He believed that about one-third of the bush of the district had been "destroyed by .fire, about one-third was doomed, and one^third would be saved for the railway, unless the railway was pushed on with much greater expedition. Two-thirds was still standing, and it was highly to the interest of the district that it should be saved. "Can you give any idea of the probable numbei* of trees per acre?" Mr Prouse was asked, and he replied that he considered there was from 12,000 to 18,000 feet per acre over the wholej area. In one quarter-acre he saw 25,000 ft, and on a half-acre thqf e was a patch-of 50,000 ft of white pine. Two-thirds of the bush was red pine, a : valuable building timber, aftd bne-sixthTbf the remaining two-thirds was matai (medium to large ti'ees), worth 16s per 100 m Wellington. • Asked as to the accessibility of the country, Air. Prouse replied: "It is simply a grand country to get logs out of. It has easy, grades, gravitating towards your rail-head, , and it is easy to work either with trams or bullocks. There are no gorges such as we know on the West Coast. There are many fine flats m it." ; Mr Prouse went' on to state that he had seen a good deal more of the country than above described, but there was a great deal also thab he did not see, and he was told that it was all well-bushed. There was, he estimated, - for about four miles due east of trig H two valleys full of : rimu. Opposite >Trig •H. he saw a man falling bush, and though he knew there was a clearing there by fallen logs, it) looked almost like solid bush, the rimu trees that were left being, so large. Some day, remarked Mr Prouse, "there will be a tremendous bush fire there, when the standing rimu burns, and many sheep will be lost. Looking from another high hill, a distance of 12 or 15 miles, with valleys on even grades, there was more timber, but he could nob say what kind it was. , ; Asked whether he considered the country was worthy of being opened up by rail, and whether it would pay to put a railway therej Mr Prouse said that if the railway , was put there for timber alone it would pay interest for ten years on all the expenditure of construction. He ' would put it stronger than that: If a I railway was going through to the Motu I and it was to take ten or twelve years, j it would pay. them to put it through m two, for the freight from the timber alone for the eight years would more went oh to point out how other revenue went on to pom tout hbw other revenue would be developed as the country was cleared of its timber, considering the district most suitable for dairying. The in-' creased population that would be settled on the country would also make it, worth while to lay the line. The district had m the timber there a vast amount of capital. Utilise the timber, and that capital became circulating capital, and brought prosperity to. the district. There had been fully two millions' worth of bush there, and one-third was gone. He! considered that the nian who burned bush i m the Motu might as well burn the de- .' posit slips of his bank account. The; timber there was wanted m G.isborne, ana ■ was most, valuable. "It was some thirty . miles from Karaka to Beaufoy's, where was the nearest timber, and that would be a splendid place to start from; there being stretches of easy country from there. For tramming it was. splendid country, and he. did not notice the slippery papa that he had seen m other parts of the district. There was ample timber there to last a few mills for years to come. The altitude was 1700 ft, and it was a delight- j fully cool climate m contrast with the heat of Gisborne to-day. It was a dis T trict splendidly adapted for fruit -growing, and Mr Hansen had a 'crop of gooseberries that he should get £50 for if he hud; the means of getting them into town. . Mr' Prbuse is of the opinion that timber, from thf Motu could be landed m Gisborne at a cost of 6s per 100, as against 12s 9d, the present price of medium kauri, or 18s first-class kauri. Mi* Prouse will write an extended report of his visit for the " Motu Settlers' Association, and we have no' doubt that, if that is used properly it may be made the means of getting the railway constructed much more expeditiously, so that the timber wealth of the Motu may be saved to the dj.s* trict. -- - .

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19010204.2.30

Bibliographic details

THE MOTU TIMBER., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXVIII, Issue 9063, 4 February 1901

Word Count
1,268

THE MOTU TIMBER. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXVIII, Issue 9063, 4 February 1901

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