Ask an Expert

Ask an Expert

Forestry, wood processing & certification

Like to know what wood to use building a pergola or framing a barn? How about the difference between tung oil and polyurethane as a floor finish? How to revive decking or deal with merbau stains? Or how to meet the building code or bushfire standards? Or ask about the environmental advantages of wood or forest certification?

Q. Why doesn't FSC certification sound as good as AFS Certification in your blurb? Isn't it also a 'world-class' certification scheme?

We encourage the Australian timber industry to adopt certification under the FSC or AFS systems. As you say, both are “world-class” schemes. Having said that, most Australian producers prefer the AFS scheme. The Australian Forestry Standard is recognized under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), whereas the Forest Stewardship Council is not part of the PEFC network, nor does it have Australian Standard status. For more information about PEFC, visit their website at The Australian Forestry Standard publishes a regular newsletter that can be downloaded from their website at

Q. I want to buy some teak outdoor furniture, how can I be sure it’s from sustainable forests?

A lot of the teak imported into Australia is from well-established plantations in tropical countries. The best way to make sure the wood in the furniture you buy is from a sustainable source is to look for certification. Tropical timber exporting countries are starting to introduce certification into their industries. An example is the Tropical Forest Trust. You can find out more about this by visiting


Did you know?

Logs from plantations cannot produce the sawn hardwood timber produced from logs currently harvested from native forests.