With prevailing conventional logging practices in the wet tropics timber harvesting operations often leave behind damaged residual stands with reduced potential for regrowth of desirable commercial timber species. Residual forests may require several decades to recover from the harvesting shock and prolonged mortality, if not properly managed to boost commercial growth rates of potential crop trees. 
In cases where there are only a few commercial seed trees left to replenish the depleted logged-over forest, rehabilitation measures are required. In the worst case scenario, complete and costly reforestation may become necessary to restock the forest area with commercial seedlings. 
 

Silvicultural Treatment

The key objectives of natural forests silviculture include an increase in the portion of high-value commercial timbers, and a reduction of the period required to produce the next timber crop. Numerous silvicultural methods (e.g. plus tree selection, liberation thinning) have been developed for tropical forests and practically tested with encouraging results, provided these are carried out in a professional manner, and sustained throughout the production period. In case of sufficient seedling stocks or advanced growth in logged-over forests, tending of the existing commercial regeneration will produce a second harvest within a reasonable time frame (20-40 years, subject to growth region, forest type and stocking conditions). Implementing Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) practices are a precondition to achieve this objective. 
The associated expert pool of ifmc has developed workable methods that ensure proper silvicultural management schemes in accordance with the sustainability objective. We offer specific training courses helping our clients to build the necessary human capacities for successful silvicultural forest management.

Natural patch of forest seedlings

Enrichment Planting

The removal of most of the merchantable timber from primary forests often has been carried out in a careless manner, without considering the need to reserve an adequate number of commercial crop trees for the next harvest. A high density of unplanned skid-trails in logged-over forests lead to undesirable soil compaction and erosion, and also to high residual tree damage. Residual forests lacking sufficient commercial timber trees need to be enriched with artificial methods, such as enrichment line planting or gap/cluster planting. 
ifmc offers the practical knowledge and experience to bring back your forests to full commercial production.

 


Reforestation

In the worst case scenario, harvesting intensity and subsequent stand damage have been so severe that little potential for natural stand recovery is left behind. In this situation, complete reforestation may be the only remaining forest management option. In order to ensure stand growth at optimum levels site classification studies need to be conducted to determine the best match of forest site with the potential range of commercial species to be planted. In severe cases of soil disturbance and compaction, special site preparation methods, such as de-compaction, mulching and/or fertilisation may become necessary to ensure a healthy and vigorous growth of the forest plantation.

Contact ifmc for consultation and advice, to support and back-up your reforestation plans with the knowledge and experience of our professional team.