Forests are complex ecosystems which regulate the Earth’s climate, houses 70% of its animals, and provides 1.6 billion humans with clean air to breathe.
To say it lightly? The world wouldn’t survive without trees.
Timber harvesting and any unconstructive cutting of trees will degrade woodlands and create fundamental issues locally and globally if sustainable silvicultural techniques aren’t practiced at different stages in a forest’s life.
Silviculture, or the ecological growing and cultivation of trees, must be applied in myriad management prescriptions including pruning, planting, clear cutting, thinning, site preparation, and prescribed burning.
The goal of silviculture prescriptions are to mimic naturally occurring changes in a woodland’s lifetime by influencing its stand structure through complex processes and patterns.
Clear-cutting: A regeneration technique thought to mimic wildfires by removing an entire area of trees and their canopies, allowing seeds and sunlight to colonize the site and produce an even aged forest.
Thinning: The selective process of removing small, weaker trees in order to control the light so bigger, stronger, more diverse trees and wildlife habitats can grow.
Site Preparation: Preparing and removing logging debris, slashing, and remnants of harvested timber in order to replenish the soil for germination, survival, and growth of desired trees and vegetation.
Prescribed burning: Scientifically planned and controlled burn of specific forests and areas in order to reduce hazardous fuel loads and greenhouse gases, restore woodland nutrients, and manage forests.
Planting: Also known as reforestation, this process replants trees and replenishes the soil to rebuild the naturally occurring habitats removed during deforestation.
Silviculture embraces the full spectrum of a forest’s composition and is fundamental in maintaining environmental, economic, social, and community sustainability efforts in the world today.
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