RMK tests selective felling in cooperation with researchers 05.02

Today, representatives of the municipality of Häädemeeste, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and RMK decided that RMK, in cooperation with the Estonian University of Life Sciences, will test selective felling management solutions in the Ikla-Häädemeeste dune pine forests as part of a research project. The operations are in accordance with the current Häädemeeste comprehensive plan and are set to begin in early spring.

“Selective felling has been both praised and criticised over the years,” said the Chief Forester at RMK, Andres Sepp. “Participating in the selective felling research project is important for RMK because we want to know the results of cultivation of new forests after selective felling in different forest stands.”

According to Sepp, it is important to RMK to ensure that when valuable wood is extracted from the forest, a new generation of equally valuable pine forest can grow in its place. “The management of Estonian forests must be based on science. We are currently lacking extensive experiences, testing grounds and scientific results with selective felling,” said Sepp.

“As selective felling has been rarely practiced and researched in Estonia, the Estonian University of Life Sciences in cooperation with RMK is trying to fill that gap with an extensive research project. To get results that can be generalised as much as possible in Estonian conditions, the testing grounds for selective felling will be established in the boreal forests of South-East Estonia as well as the dune pine forests in the south-west,” said academician and Professor of Forestry at the Estonian University of Life Sciences Veiko Uri. He added that the primary aim of the study is to assess the effects of selective felling on the carbon sequestration of forests as well as its economic aspects.

The proposed testing grounds for selective felling include five forest sections along the old Riga motorway between Kabli and Ikla totalling 8 hectares. This means that only some of the trees will be cut and after logging operations are finished a new pine forest will be created. These testing grounds are near a forest where uniform shelterwood cutting was conducted at the end of last year. Over the span of several years, we will see if and how regeneration, carbon sequestration and economic aspects differ in the two forest management methods.

Häädemeeste municipality mayor Karel Tölp said that the selective felling operations necessary for the research project were approved because people wish to preserve the beautiful viable pine forests of the area. How to do this based on scientific facts and not just guesses is important information in the context of drafting a comprehensive plan.
Selective felling is being studied as part of the research project “Impact of selective felling on the carbon balance of the forest ecosystem and economic aspects”.

Further information:
Heiki Ärm
RMK Forest Manager of Pärnu County
+372 503 1423

Veiko Uri
academician, Professor of Forestry at the Estonian University of Life Sciences
+372 508 3809