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Short rotation forestry

Written by Reinhard Sperr on October 21, 2017 in Glossary

Short rotation means energy forests that are harvested every few years and have a useful life of only 15 years (12 years in Italy). We describe 2-4 years as short rotation, 4-7 years as medium rotation, and 6-10 (12) years as long rotation.

In short rotation foresting, we recommend to plant poplars as 6,500 to 10,000 pcs per hectare and willows or robinias in double rows with about 13,000 pcs per hectare. In Austria, we are currently seeing a slight tendency away from the short rotation forestry for medium to longer-term rotations and 2,000-6,000 pcs per hectare, and to forestry equipment at harvesting.

Conclusion: We recommend short rotation for field sizes from 2-5 acres and for a machinery contractor who has a bit of wood for harvesters within reach or several short-rotation forests and arable land to be easily to come around. For small fields, substandard conditions, unfavorable land forms or slope areas, we would recommend medium-to-long rotations and harvesting with forestry technology.

© - Reinhard Sperr (2008 – 2017)