To learn more, please visit the responsible forest management section for this region.

Contents:

  1. Microclimate and Logging
  2. Choosing the Direction of Cutting
  3. The Abutting Method
  4. Gradual Logging: three options
  5. Sustaining the Logging Area

Microclimate and Logging

After the logging areas have been cleared they tend to experience sharp changes in climatic qualities such as temperature and humidity of the air and soil, as well as changes to the light and wind patterns. Without a doubt such adversities are tackled by our company who has implemented a number of clear-cutting techniques stemming the growth and biodiversity by creating the best possible conditions for natural regeneration. We pay close attention to the direction of cutting and logging sites, methods and timing of the next abutting of cutting areas.

Forests for the convenience of carrying out forestry work are subdivided into quarters 0,5 × 1,0 km; 1,0 × 1,0 km; 2 X 2 km, depending on the landscape and local requirements for forest management. In areas of mature forest the logging sites usually take the form of a strip along the quarterly clearing.

The best shape for the logging area is rectangular. If the allotment with a ripe forest is surrounded by younger stands, the shape of the felling area will correspond to the shape of this allotment.

The maximum width of the logging site could be anything between 100, 150, 500 m, depending on a number of criteria. In general, the greater the width of the logging site, the worse the conditions for reforestation, as well as worse ecological consequences of logging are more pronounced, but the conditions for logging are better. Good conditions for natural regeneration are provided with a width of the cutting area not exceeding double the height of the neighbouring forest, from which seeds are expected to swoop down.

 

Western Russia Microclimate

 

Choosing the Direction of Cutting

Our foresters decide where to start and in which direction to cut and chop the next cutting area. Cutting direction is generally selected to meet the prevailing winds. Hence the wall of uncut forests will protect fresh cutting from the harmful effects of wind, and the trees as a result will suffer less from the windfall. In addition, the seeds from the uncut wall will be effectively brought by the wind into the freshly cut area, contributing to its natural renewal and regeneration.

Choosing cutting direction also entails figuring the orientation of the cutting area along North-South and West- East. For example when placing the cutting area from west to east wall of forest will obscure the large cutting area thus lower the heat-absorption of the soil and reduce water evaporation.

The orientation for cutting areas we use in Ryazan’s region, in temperate climate zone, is from North to South, so that logging site gets more heat and light and hence increased evaporation.

The Abutting Method

The period of time that passes between the cuttings of neighbouring cutting areas is known as the abutting period. The abutting method for freshly harvested logging areas can be either immediate or intermingled. The trees in neighbouring logging site are harvested only when there has been considerable regeneration on the original site. This usually requires three to five years.

Oak Abutting Method Example

In order to ensure an annual harvest of oak in an ecology responsible manner, the logging site is broken down into cutting sites chains. The width of the continuous cutting area comes in three forms: narrow - up to 50 meter, average - 50 to 100 meter, and wide - 100 to 250 meter.

The width of the cutting area directly affects microclimate and hence the renewal conditions. The wider the cutting area, the worse are the conditions for regeneration. In the broad-hardleaf forests our foresters use an average width of only 50 to 100 meters, as this width yields the highest renewal conditions in this type of forest.

The number of cuttings (logging areas) is calculated per 1 km, depending on the width of the cutting areas being set, the wind resistance of the left strips of forest and taking into account economic feasibility. With the adjustment to local conditions it is accepted: with a width (length) of the cutting area up to 50 m, the number of them per 1 km is 4; 51-100 m - 2 and more than 100 m - 1. It is necessary to leave forest areas, which are multiples of the width of the felling areas, established for these plantings.

 

Our Golden Rule for Western Russia (and Siberia):
Do not cut the adjacent second logging site, until the renewal of the first is finished.

 

Gradual Logging: three options

Evenly-gradual - performed by uniform thinning of a forest stand in 2-3 times for the period, within one class of age.

Group-gradual – the trees are cut down in groups where there are undergrowth curtains, and at the same time a part of the stand adjoining this window is cut alongside. The area of ​​these windows is increased with adolescence trees. In the case of a large initial size of the window (0.5 hectares or more), the felling is called a hollow. The general term for the removal of a mature stand with group-gradual logging often exceeds one class of age.

Long term-gradual - in stands with a well-defined second generation, which is left to grow. Secondary logging is carried out after the second generation reaches the age of ripeness (in 30-40 years). An indispensable condition for its conduct is a sufficient number of trees of the younger generation (at least 400 units per 1 hectare).

Gradual Logging despite of type is performed in the following steps:

1) Preparatory step with the intensity of 20-25% in order to strengthen harvest of seeds and improve the preparation of soil for the perception of seeds;

2) Seeding period is in 3 to 5 years in the seminal year with approximately the same intensity;

3) High intensity illuminating period when the adolescent reaches about 0.5 m of height and

4) The final step, Cleaning, when adolescent trees are at a height of 1 - 2 m.

Overall it suffices to say that ecological benefits of Group-Gradual logging outweigh the Evenly Gradual. We implement both, because in Ryazan’, we have numerous forests, with varying forest stands and prevailing conditions, as a result we depict the areas and select the suitable logging method.

Sustaining the Logging Area

In order to protect the soil from excessive drying and flushing from erosion and for felling it is necessary to scatter small branches and other small debris remains, especially in the dry and very dry oak forests, as well as in special water-protection areas.

Undergrowth can provide a natural seed regeneration felling if it is maintained during the felling and removal of mature trees. Healthy undergrowth can occur in case of felling of the trees in deep snow, or special techniques for responsibly felling trees and hauling them to the cutting area. Extraction of felled wood from the stump to the road (clearing) is called forest skidding.

In order to ensure the resumption of growth of oak, ash and other valuable species our foresters seed seeds under the canopy of plants, loosening the soil, thinning dense undergrowth of spruce and employ other various operative forest management activities.

For example, when collecting large pile of twigs, these are located away from the nests of oak’s self-seeding zone and away from the stumps that could provide growth.

 

Introduction to Russian Ecology