Although there are thoughts that felling involves outrageous deforestation, most forestry is not chaotic but rather follows certain, binding rules. The importance of the forest and its biodiversity in the country’s ecosystem is widely recognized. Therefore, forestry companies and businesses cannot act any way they want.
Felling is regulated by forestry law and logging rules approved by the Minister of Environment. These laws are designed not only to bring order to deforestation but also to the replanting of harvested areas and the care of replanted areas. Read the blog post below for more information.
Types of logging: what are they? The most common types of fellings are:
- Major forest clearings.
- Intermediate fellings.
Both of these groups have subdivisions that further describe how and what forest is cut. The most striking difference between the two groups, however, is that principal deforestation occurs in mature, semi-mature and older stands. Timber for sale is sourced from major forest clearings.
Meanwhile, intermediate fellings aim to preserve biodiversity and improve or restore the forest’s condition. They often involve the felling or thinning of young stands as well as the conversion of forest land to another type of land.
Major forest fellings differ in their intensity. They are divided into:
Main felling stock exchanges are defined by tree species, age, and forest group. The earliest harvested groups are alder forests (Group IV) at age 31 and aspen at age 41. The latest harvested groups are pine forests (171 years) and oak forests (201 years).
What are the Logging Rules?
For some time, basic and intermediate cuts, whether educational or sanitary, have been defined by different rules. In 2010, the Ministry of the Environment approved a set of rules for forest harvesting, which detail and regulate this activity. These rules provide both basic definitions of terms (such as tree species) and instructions for logging. This document specifies when and where logging is allowed or prohibited (provisions vary depending on tree species, time of year or air temperature).
Deforestation rules are based on many factors. For example, both Lithuania and Latvia take into account the state of forests, diversity of protected fauna, seasonal temperature, tree species, and other characteristics. Their main purpose is to regulate logging in a manner that promotes sustainable forestry, which allows forests to regenerate properly and preserves wildlife, especially endangered species. All types of logging, both main and intermediate, are bound by these rules.
Tree Felling According to Maturity
It’s rare that people know when it’s best to cut a forest and when to wait until the forest reaches its maturity, However, those that know this will bring in significant revenue. For each tree species, there is a certain minimum age for felling, which is set out in the “Rules on felling.”
Before presenting tables that list the relevant tree felling period according to the maturity of the trees, an important concept – bonitetas (word in Lithuanian) – has to be clarified. Bonitetas is an indicator that shows the forest stand productivity and growth conditions. It is determined by the height of trees of a certain age. Forest growth conditions and stand productivity are assessed by bonitetas classes:
- Relative – shows the ratio of the average height of the stand to the average age of the stand. Rankings are represented by Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, and V, sometimes with additional letters Ia, Va, Vb. The best growing stands are Class I and the worst are Class V stands.
- Absolute – shows the height of the stand or the average increment of volume for a given, usually 100, 50 m. century trees, identified by Arabic numerals.
Bonification can also be done based on the fertility of the soils and their grass cover, the average annual increment of normal stands, the 100 largest per 100 m. age trees 1 ha height, and other categories.
Tree Felling in Lithuania According to Their Maturity
|The dominant tree species||Group IV forests||Group III forests||Ages of natural maturity (major restorative felling in Group II forests)|
|Pine and larch, ash, maple, elm||101||111||171|
|Birches, linden, black alder, scrubs||61||61||91|
|Aspen (mixed stands), poplar||41||41||81|
|Aspen (pure forest)||no crossing age is determined||no crossing age is determined||81|
|Gray alder, willow, blind||31||31||51|
In Latvia the Age of Felling of Trees According to Their Maturity
|The dominant tree species||I and higher bonitet||Bonitet
|IV and lower bonitet|
|Pine and larch||101||101||121|
|Spruce, ash, linden, elm, caterpillar, maple||81||81||81|
Thus, deforestation must follow the Forest Law and the rules on logging to maintain proper logging. Following the rules also helps to maintain or replant the forest, which affects the value of the forest. According to the Business News columnist: “It is important to emphasize that the area of Lithuanian forests and annual increment are constantly increasing and the amount of logging is less than the annual growth rate.”
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