Silviculture, its definition and Significant in Forest

What is Silviculture

First, a question is comes in our mind, in actual what is silviculture. Different definition gives different definition about the silviculture some of them are given below

Difinition of silviculture By, Champion and Seth, 1968

The term silviculture refers to certain aspects of theory and practice of raising forest crops.

Difinition of silviculture By, Anon 1966

It is defined as the art and science of cultivation forest crops.

Difinition of silviculture Smith 1976

It is concerned with the technical details of crop production and defined as the art of producing and tending a forest or the theory and practice of controlling forest establishment, composition and growth.

Silviculture contains two words silvics and cultureSilvics has been defined as the study of life history and generally characteristics of forest trees and crops with particular reference to environmental factors (Anon, 1966). Culture means its practical application or cultivation. So, Full means of Silviculture is Cultivation of Trees if we say it in simple words.

Objective of Silviculture

The study of silviculture is very important. Silviculture is improved limitation of nature. In nature, we find a large number of species coming up at one place. Some individuals die out of competition, some attain top canopy while others remain at lower levels. Silvicultural factors are usually controlled by economic considerations.

1. Produce High-Quality Timber
If the Forest is not properly managed then the timber produced, is malformed and up to the quality match which in market required. By using the Silvicultural techniques the Forest land is protected from diseases, Insect-pest attacks, and major damaging agencies.
2. Increase productivity
Productivity is the production of crop per unit area of land. If the productivity of the forest is low then revenue from that forest will also decrease. So, some silviculture techniques are used to increase the productivity of forest or tree land.
3. Reducing the Rotation of Trees species
The major concern in the tree cultivation is rotational period. The time period required to properly mature the timber is very high as compared to other agriculture crops. With the adjustment in the density of forest trees, we can manage the rotational period of the trees.
4. Help in improvement of Afforestation programs
There is a large area of forests which is blank or under stocked due to fire, encroachments, illicit fillings, or some natural causes. These areas are, however, suitable to bear tree growth. Silviculture helps us to afforest these areas with suitable trees by planting or by seedling. Silviculture guides to know the best period of seed collection, nursery technique, plantation details, etc. to complete afforestation.
5. Protection of Sites
The main object of silviculture is to provide maximum protection to the site so that intangible returns from the forests are ensured. Important intangible returns include moderating climate, increasing precipitation, reducing soil erosion and floods conserving soil and water increasing water yields providing shelter to a large number of wild animals, etc. Silviculture helps to understand the requirement of a tree and its effect on the site. The species, which are likely to deteriorate the site, are discarded. Only such species which afford complete protection to the site and ensure a continuous flow of intangible benefits are preferred.
6. Facilitate Management and Use of Forests
In unmanaged forests, good forests exist in difficult areas, where it is difficult to manage and harvest the timber. In managed forests, it is easy to plant the growth and distribution of forests so that the produce is used efficiency and economically. It is possible to arrange the forest in different localities in such age classes and species composition that management becomes easy.

Practices of Silviculture

There are many practices are done in lifetime of tree for improvement. Some of them are given only in short below

  • Tending operation
  • Pruning
  • Thining
  • Tending operation
  • Weeding

These all the operation will be given in details in our next Articles.

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