CARBON dating has revealed jarrah trees up to 400 years old are being cut down in WA’s South-West, despite a ban on old-growth logging.
And most of the ancient timber falling victim to chainsaws is used not for fine furniture but for firewood and railway sleepers.
The radiocarbon dating was done on a jarrah log harvested from the Challar Forest near Walpole, 410km south of Perth.
The Barnett Government’s Forest Products Commission is harvesting in the 490-hectare forest, which partly sits in the Walpole Wilderness Reserve and the Deep River catchment.
Marjorie Apthorpe, a geologist and palaeontologist with 50 years experience who uses carbon dating to find the age of fossils, tested the jarrah when she toured the Challar Forest.