Sustainable harvesting of woodlands

Coert Geldenhuys, once again visited the K2C Biosphere Region in February.
This visit was to work with local resource users, many of them members from the four Blyde CPAs, including the Blyde Stewardship Environmental Monitors. Coert’s objective was to teach people how to utilise indigenous woodland species sustainably and acquire the maximum use from individual trees e.g. Parinari curatellifolia (Mobolo Plum) and Terminalia sericea (silver cluster leaf). 

Steps employed: 
  1. Determine what is required from the different species e.g. fire wood, 1.2m length poles for fences, and 2.5m poles for building. 
  2. Choose a stand of trees in which to work. 
  3. Determine which trees can be used for what purpose i.e. tall straight stems for the poles; and stems not yet 2.5m will be left for another year or two. 
  4. Thinning, pruning, and cutting.  

Multi-stemmed plants (of desired species) are thinned out of the stand to allow for the bigger trees to grow; and the lateral branches of trees identified for the long poles are pruned (thus generating firewood). Some of the straight poles (1.2 and 2.5m lengths) are cut for use. To encourage sustainability, usually no more than 50% of the trees in the stand are harvested.


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