Forestry Foundations

Learn how to grow and manage timber for production, how urban forests are managed as sustainable assets, how agroforestry is specific to growing trees on farms and learn management for commercial plantations, native and natural forests.

Course Code: BAG109
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to grow, harvest and process timber on a farm, woodlot or for a native forest.

Learn the key principles and practical management of trees in agroforestry and urban forestry.

Improve your potential commercial output from tree production with this course focusing on suitable timber types, growing conditions, safe and efficient workplace practices and more. Discover the most suitable species for your environment, report on your local area, and discuss possibilities with experts in the field.

What is Forestry?
Broadly defined as the science and practice of managing trees for use in agriculture, environmental and climate change mitigation, for human health and animal shelter, for tourism and manufacturing, forestry is a key industry for the broader economy. Working in forestry provides opportunities for professional growth and career advances if you seek that.

Factors related to timber production include:

  • Tree health and physiology
  • Planting and pruning
  • Soil knowledge and management
  • Tree rotation and forest design
  • Working with tools and equipment
  • Processing for raw timber or construction timber
  • Preservations, treatments and legalities
  • market demands for high end specialist products for furniture or ornamental products

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. The Scope, Nature and Fundamentals of Forestry
    • Introduction to Forests
    • Tree Value
    • Understanding Wood
    • Tools in Forestry
    • Power Tools and General Tool Maintenance
    • Deciding on Tools in Agroforestry Applications
    • Extending Chain Life
    • Duty of Care in The Workplace
    • Protective Equipment
  2. Timber Types
    • Introduction to Timber and Forest Products
    • Different Types of Wood and Their Uses
    • Composites
  3. Harvesting
    • Tree Felling and Stump Removal
    • Protecting Trees
    • National Tree Registers
    • Keeping the Work Site Safe
    • Duty of Care
    • Costing Jobs
  4. Milling and Processing
    • Introduction to Processing Timber
    • Turning Trees into Timber
    • Reviewing Saws
    • Effecting of Shrinkage
    • Wood Preservation in Cut Timber
  5. Plantation and Forestry Management
    • Introduction
    • Key terms
    • Silviculture
    • Shelterbelts
    • Pruning and Thinning
  6. Conservation & Restoration Forestry
    • Introduction to conservation and restoration
    • Forestry for Wildlife Conservation
    • Forestry for Erosion Control
    • Forestry for Salinity Control
    • Design Options including wide-spaced, clump and cluster and woodlots
  7. Agroforestry
    • Introduction to agroforestry
    • Benefits of Agroforestry including carbon sinks and credits
    • Agroforestry in Farming
    • Future Developments
  8. Urban Forestry
    • Introduction to Urban Forestry
    • Selecting Tree Species
    • Where to Plant
    • Environmental and Health Benefits of Trees in Urban Environments
    • Production Benefits of Trees in Urban Environments
  9. Lesson 9 PBL: Planning a Commercial Timber Production
    • Project Based Activity: to write a plan for commercial timber production on a small 5-acre woodlot, taking account of the site specific and environmental considerations.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Understand the nature and scope of forestry including the importance of trees, evaluation of trees and the equipment used in the industry.
  • Explain types of timber and forest products.
  • Explain the harvesting of timber.
  • Explain milling and processing, including small and large scale milling, timber drying, timber preservation and chipping.
  • Explain the management of plantations and forests.
  • Explain the value and application of conservation and restoration forestry, as an alternative or supplementary form of forestry.
  • Explain the value and application of agroforestry, as an alternative or supplementary form of forestry.
  • Explain the value and application of urban forestry, as an alternative or supplementary form of forestry.
  • PBL Project Aim: Implement necessary planning for commercial timber production at imaginary Lenkat Forest taking account of site and environmental considerations.

What You Will Do

  • Visit forests where possible - these could be native forests, on farms or state own plantations.
  • Review tools used in forestry operations.
  • Conduct research into current employment opportunities.
  • Research specific tree species of interest or those found in your region.
  • Investigate wooden products found in your home or workspace.
  • Assess and plan tree for removal of a particular tree.
  • Collect images of sawing patterns as a resource file.
  • Connect with timber preservation processors to expand knowledge on timber treatments and processes.
  • Develop a pruning guide.
  • Investigate international forestry conservation projects.
  • Contact the forestry commission or department of environment and agriculture to explore the current preferences, trends and specifications relating to forest design.
  • Watch online videos explaining agroforestry principles and practices to support your learning.
  • Visit rural locations to identify agroforestry in the region near you.
  • Deepen your understanding of trees for agricultural purposes by examining farms and trees.
  • Become familiar with local government projects or initiatives in urban forestry.
  • Report on observations of urban forestry in your region.
  • Interview two people or what they know or understand about urban forestry and the impacts of forestry on them.
  • Write a schedule for commercial timber production (a tutor supported project at the end of the course).

Study all elements of forestry.

Acquire an understanding of timber types and how to harvest timber and process it. Also learn how plantations or woodlands are managed, and the importance of conservation and restoration forestry. A major element of this study includes agroforestry - forestry for farms and the agriculture sector. Also urban forestry which is linked to vegetation management in urban areas and is often key in health and environmental initiatives. Start your forestry career here. This course is packed full of practical considerations and is central in forestry education.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
ACS is a Silver Sponsor of the AIH; and students studying designated courses are given free student membership. ACS and it's principal have had an association with AIH since the 1980's
ACS is a Silver Sponsor of the AIH; and students studying designated courses are given free student membership. ACS and it's principal have had an association with AIH since the 1980's
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.
Principal John Mason has been honoured to be awarded a Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, having been an active member since 1974.
Principal John Mason has been honoured to be awarded a Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, having been an active member since 1974.
Our Principal John Mason, was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Institute of Horticulture in 2010
Our Principal John Mason, was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Institute of Horticulture in 2010
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is a foundation member of the Horticultural Media Association in Australia.
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is a foundation member of the Horticultural Media Association in Australia.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Parita Shah (Horticulture)

Parita has a Masters Degree in Horticulture specialising in plantation, spices, medicinal and aromatic crops and organic farming. She has worked as a freelance consultant, and in an avocado nursery in NSW grafting and preparing avocado clones.

Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager.
Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.

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