The Bennington Country Sustainable Forest Consortium in Vermont is to sponsor a workshop to share recent research findings about the long-term value of forestry investments.
The organisation wants to encourage investors and forestry companies to look past which trees are worth the most and the time of harvest, and look at the scale of remuneration through the years. Findings from new research by Ralph Nyland, a Forestry Distinguished Professor of Silviculture, will be presented at the workshop.
Nyland and his team have been looking at the effectiveness or otherwise of the two forestry harvesting methods that developed in the twentieth century. One is Diameter limit cutting and other is a high-grading technique. Both are still popular in timber operations in North East America.
Diameter limit cutting removes all merchantable timber above a certain diameter at breast height. High-grading is similar to diameter limit cutting, as trees must be a certain minimum diameter to be merchantable.
However, Nyland said the consortium are concerned that usually all that’s left behind are poor-quality trees or a high proportion of species for which there is no market. Therefore, while the first harvest might be remunerative, the second will be much less so, and so on. Sustainable forestry is the aim of the workshop’s organisers, and that means looking at ways to generate long-term returns from timber.