Ecoforestry is a term used to describe a forest management practice which emphasises sustainability rather than pure financial returns. The focus is on the entire forest ecosystem, and here are its main principles:

Principles of Eco Forestry

  1. Sustainability is the most important factor in Ecoforestry, it must be the first consideration in any planned operation. By doing this, one ensures the protection of such things as rare species, sites of native cultural significance, riparian zones, etc.
Ecoforestry. Ecoplan Forestry Limited

Ecoforestry. Ecoplan Forestry Limited

2. Riparian zones should not be touched whenever possible. This protects the water quality. Water quality is protected by not altering the drainage pattern of the zones. No tree removal should take place in the most sensitive areas.

3. The composition and structures should be upheld so that forests may fully function. Encouraging natural regeneration and retaining senescent trees maintains the age and vertical diversity of the ecosystem.

4. When removing trees, insist on low-impact harvesting methods. This minimises disturbance and avoids soil compaction.

Ecoforestry. Low impact machine. Ecoplan Forestry Limited

Ecoforestry. Low impact machine. Ecoplan Forestry Limited

5. Prohibit clear-felling. Clear-felling  is not ecologically correct, and in many cases is not financially the best option anyway. Adhere to continuous cover management systems to ensure biodiversity benefits and long-term sustainability.

6. Carefully select trees as candidates for removal by considering your long-term goals. Retained stems should be chosen based on their native provenance, habitat value, seed production or even aesthetics. Consider how these trees will benefit the ecosystem into the future, and plan around that.

7. Allow forests to regenerate naturally from existing seed-trees. This removes the need for expensive planting and allows the forest to develop naturally with species that are ideally suited to the site and local conditions.

8. Limited or preferably no pesticide use. The forest requires disease, insects, and competition, they are essential parts of a fully functioning forest.

9. Retain deadwood and fallen branches wherever possible, these provide additional habitat and restore soil quality over time.

Ecoforestry Deadwood. Ecoplan Forestry

Ecoforestry Deadwood. Ecoplan Forestry

10. Maintain the aesthetics, beauty and unique qualities of the woodland.

11. Always look at the forest as a whole, from the soil and humus underfoot to the highest canopy.

12. Rely more on people and niche markets. Use alternate thinking to depend less on the destruction or harvesting from the forests.

13. Be enlightened. Don’t allow ignorance to limit what you can do, recognize that the ecosystem needs sensitive management. If the forest is not preserved, then it cannot be harvested forever.

Ecoforestry. Ecoplan Forestry

Ecoforestry. Ecoplan Forestry

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  1. Interesting

  2. This is so important

  3. Nice pictures and interesting article you have there.

  4. Great article, very informative

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