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Forest Bathing

What Is the Purpose of Silviculture?

Silviculture is the science of managing our forest resources. A silviculturist works kind of like a forest doctor, keeping tabs on the health of trees and other flora and considering preventative actions to safeguard against overuse, forest fires, and other disasters.

The forests of the world are bountiful natural resources that can be cultivated to solidify the local wildlife habitats, provide abundant lumber and even support the healthy practice of forest bathing . Silviculture attempts to cultivate different forests to maximize their outcomes. 1

The underlying goal of silviculture is to ensure that valuable forest space is used maximally by plants that will make good use of it. These trees and plants are commonly referred to as useful plants either because they improve conditions for the desired kind of forest that silviculturists want to produce.

Silviculture also seeks to help landowners achieve the best results while still abiding by responsible forestry management guidelines. Originally, the practice of silviculture was designed to keep lumber production high without destroying natural forests, but today there are a great many reasons to carefully manage a forest.

The practice of silviculture allows humans to better use the bounty of the forest while keeping the needs of the forest in mind. From the prospects of a forest fire, tree diseases and more, there are countless maladies that must be considered when determining a silviculture prescription.

Today silviculture may be practiced for a wide variety of reasons, including:

    • To meet the goals of the forest owner.

    • To provide a variety of forest resources in a predictable and sustainable manner.

    • Balance biological, economic and ecologic concerns for the forest in question.

    • Make the most each square foot of space.

    • Keep the forest healthy

Silviculture What are Silvicultural Systems?

The science and art of silviculture apply various treatments or techniques to manage a forest for a specific purpose. The overall plan for using specific silviculture techniques is called a silviculture system. 2

Even-aged systems include trees of a single age type that grows together and produces a high canopy because all trees are the same size and age.

Two-aged systems, as you may imagine, are two-different ages in this system and produces a canopy with two distinct levels.

Unevenly aged systems include some forests that are planned with many trees of different ages and this produces the type of forest with many levels of foliage from the highest canopy to the forest floor.

Some treatments to a silviculture system will include cutting down some of the forest trees and this is done to increase the quality of life of trees in the forest. Typically immature saplings and shrubbery will be selected for removal. This allows the other trees to grow stronger and healthier. This is called intermediate treatment.

Regeneration treatment is done to produce new trees in a single area or begin aerating the forest in preparation to plant new trees. In this treatment, mature trees will be selected for removal and replaced by another species of trees, to increase biodiversity.

The needs of a forest are great and must be considered if humans hope to improve our reliance on the forests that support our lives. Forests work to clean the air, cool cities, soothe and relax the mind as well as countless other benefits that humans just wouldn’t survive without. Check out this essential information about the air we breathe and why Paleo Air is so important to our health.

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The forests boast a great wealth of benefits for humans everywhere. A simple walk in the woods can ease nervousness, boost the immune function and help to prevent many common maladies.

Photo Credits: Maksimilian/, PUGUNSJ/

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