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Site Specific Forest Management

Optimisation and improved efficiency in the timber-growing industry require site-specific forestry decisions on tree breeding, site-genotype matching, silviculture, compartment and road layout, stand management and harvesting systems. In addition, timber quality may be strongly influenced by genotype-site interactions, a factor of increasing importance as the industry becomes more orientated towards fibre quality.  Meaningful and synergistic integration of natural resources and forest management objectives relies on an understanding of site factors, processes and interactions in order to implement this strategy and secure long-term sustainable production.

Site-specific forestry is derived from a comprehensive knowledge of the local climate, geology, soils, topography and vegetation, as well as management capabilities and infrastructure. While base data on these and other related factors may be already available, an understanding of the dynamic interactions between them is critical for developing sustainable methods of utilising the site.  Scientific expertise, insight and experience in site factor analysis and the application of available technologies is required in order to identify key site factors and develop operational models applicable to individual land holdings. While some factors may be common to a region or regions, their inclusion and/or calibration within local models typically differ.

Components of site-specific forest management include working circle (timber product), rotation length, planting density/spacing, species/genotype selection, site preparation, planting practice, fertilizing, weed control, pest/disease control, thinning, pruning, harvesting and regeneration.