Silviculture: A profitable art and need of time
Muhammad Hashim, Moeen Ijaz, Muhammad Shahzad Ali, Asim Yaseen, Munawar Abbas
*Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
Corresponding Author e-mail: [email protected]
In the development of human civilization, forests play an important role. By increaseing human population, issues like overexploitation of resources and degradation of forests are commonly increasing in the world. Which are causing the climatic issues, natural habitat and resource destruction. To decrease this silviculture can play an important role. Because of advances in communication, transportation, knowledge and technology recently forests demand has been changed. Our ability to manage forests is challenged by the increasing demand at temporal scales and border spatial. So, we need the management techniques to regulate the forest exploitation and productivity which include the most effective and widely applied silvicultural practices.
Silviculture can be defined as, “Silviculture is the art and science of renewing a forest crop through controlling the growth, establishment, composition, and overall quality of a forest vegetation throughout its lifetime.” As a practice, it involves a range of activities that include tree harvesting, stand tending, site preparation, and reforestation. Silviculture is often confused with managing stands and forests purely for timber. Remember that silviculture is also used to manage forests for water, wildlife, aesthetics, recreation, or any combination of these or other forest uses.
The first application of silviculture was carried out in Eastern Canada between 1910 and 1950 in tree planting operations on abandoned farmlands and prairie farms. During the same period, logging primarily dependent on natural revival for new forest growth. To speed up the regeneration process the intervention of silvicultural techniques was inquired after 1950.
Forests cover 31% of the world’s land surface and a minimum of 25% area of a country must be covered by forest. In Pakistan, around 2.5% or around 1,902,000 hectares is forest cover. In the vicinity of 1990 and 2000 Pakistan lost a normal of 41,100 hectares of forest for each year. The amounts to a normal annual deforestation rate of 1.63%. In the vicinity of 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change expanded by 24.4% to 2.02% for every annum. Altogether, in the vicinity of 1990 and 2005, Pakistan lost 24.7% of its forest cover, or around 625,000 hectares.
For the improvements of established immature trees intermediate treatments are applied which include Crop tree management, Spacing, Thinning, Brushing, Silviculture surveys, Pruning, Tree planting, Browse control, Vegetation management, Cone picking, Nursery services, Firefighting, and other related activities.
Vegetation Management includes an assortment of exercises, for example, herbiciding, directed manual cutting by means of strategies, aimlessly clearing a lot of vegetation using overwhelming hardware, and touching by creatures. The purpose of applying herbicides is to apply chemicals which will bring about mortality in many species, yet which won’t have a negative impact upon the harvest trees that should be held.
Brushing is a movement which commonly happens several years after a range is planted, or two or three years after normal recovery begins to grab hold. Now in the development of a stand, the youthful trees regularly battle with different plants and brush for basic assets, for example, water, daylight, and supplements. Brushing can likewise occur promptly in the wake of planting on high-development destinations.
Pruning is a green and silvicultural practice including the particular evacuation of parts of a plant, for example, branches, buds, or even roots. In the field of silviculture, the run of the mill objective of pruning projects is to compel trees into directing their vitality into vertical development, so the fiber being created by the tree goes into the stature and distance across of the stem, instead of into low-lying branches.
By adopting all such activities, forests can be managed and established which in turn provide benefits to us which are given as:
- It is source of income, provides different wood products and some secondary products like mushroom, ferns & salal.
- It makes the forest conservation easier and cost effective.
- It controls soil erosion by providing soil covers, shelterbelts etc.
- It protects water supply and provide habitat to plants and animals.
- After deforestation regeneration of forest can be done rapidly.
- Insects and disease-causing agents are easier to control
- Safety processes are applied for workers.
- Better management of wild life can be done.
- By natural regeneration from adjacent stands high-quality trees can be maintained.
In developing countries like Pakistan unemployment, poverty and resource destruction cause more problem so it will be beneficial to adopt silviculture in such countries which not only provide employment but also mitigate other issues like climate change, resource destruction etc. So, it must be adopted as an occupation and also govt. must take steps to adopt silviculture practices on large scale and aware people of such activities by extension work which will not only solve unemployment issues but also meets the needs of woods and its products and improve economy of country by export these products.