Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Global Forest Density Increasing

To start with developed regions stop using wood for fuel.  This means that fallen wood is no longer been hauled out.  After that they stopped cutting so aggressively.  The result is that our forests are actually getting older.

The woodlots I walked as a young man had only rare mature trees.  In the previous century, the lots had supplied logs and poles and posts for the hundred acre farms.  It is all two or three farms now and far less wood is used in that manner.  That means that those woodlots have now aged forty years and the lots are full of sixty to one hundred year old trees.  Of course there is more mass.

What needs to be actively encouraged today is actual good husbandry rather than benign neglect.  Simply gathering in dead falls opens space up as does general thinning and a healthier forest soon emerges.  A lot of this has been done on planted forests but certainly needs to be the practice universally.

As I have posted in the past, the regeneration of the forests is continuing with or without us. 

They found that while US timberland area grew only 1% between 1953 and 2007, the combined national volume of growing stock increased by an impressive 51%. National forest density increased substantially. For an international perspective,

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