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  • Archive for February, 2012

    Have researchers found the secret to greater returns from forestry plantations?


    2012 - 02.01

    Researchers in Switzerland may have made a breakthrough that could help boost income for forestry investors all over the world.

    The study, carried out at the Paul Scherrer Institute, looked into the impact of certain forest management techniques on the growth of bark in beech tress. Through a series of tests, researcher Nic Meyer and his partner Marco Mina found that the percentage of bark growth varied depending on factors like when they carried out thinning, the timber species used and when they harvested the trees.

    The pair came to the conclusion that all these factors can be optimised to reduce the growth of bark by up to 20 per cent. So why is reducing bark growth so important? First of all, it boosts the number of logs than can be produced from each tree, which obviously potentially increases returns for those investing in plantations. Secondly, when bark burns, it emits more harmful materials than regular wood.

    “In our previous investigations we had found that the emissions from burning bark had sent all of our test instruments into overdrive,” explained Meyer when talking to environmentalresearchweb.

    The optimum thinning technique, according to these forestry experts, is to leave the thinning process until the branches have a reaches between 20cm and 40cm in diameter.

    Meyer and Mina are now looking at whether the same techniques can be adopted for the growth of various other species and forestry investors, with their cash in plantation projects such as those run by Greenwood Management in Brazil, will no doubt be keeping an eye on their findings.