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Government of the woods
Government is the way in which a forest is renewed and depends on the type of propagation of plants; could be:
1. a fustaia: it concerns only plants originated from seeds. The plants are made up of a single trunk, which is left to grow freely up to the moment of use; after the felling the forest is renewed naturally, raising the seedlings born from spontaneous dissemination, or artificially with a new plantation;
2. a coppice: it only concerns broad-leaved trees; when the plants have reached a certain development they are cut periodically and the forest is renewed by the emission of suckers in correspondence with the cuts made; the renewal therefore takes place by bud until the coppice is exhausted, after which the artificial replanting is carried out;
3. compound coppice: when together with coppice-grown plants, tall trees in a number of a few hundred per hectare are also allowed to grow. If the number of tall trees is instead limited to a few tens per hectare, with the sole function of obtaining the natural reconstitution of the forest by spontaneous dissemination, we speak of matriculated coppice and matricines are said tall trees are used for dissemination.
Its treatment is linked to the form of government, that is, the method followed in cutting or cutting.
In order to obtain the right density and a good volumetric growth of the plants, thinning is carried out at periodic intervals, once the growth in height is finished. With this operation, sick, deteriorated or malformed trees must also be eliminated. Firewood is obtained from early thinning, logs and possibly planks from late.
Treatments in the birches
Fustaia with a satin cut: it is made up of plants of the same age that, when they are all cut down at the same time, leave the soil clear after cutting. All the woody mass is removed with the exception of the twig and bark which replenish the organic substance of the soil. This intervention is easy to carry out as it simplifies the logging and wood fitting operations; however, it has some disadvantages, such as the possible degradation of the soil, which is suddenly discovered and therefore may be subject to erosion phenomena, and the difficulty of natural renewal since herbaceous and shrubby weeds are established on the ground for which the artificial reforestation. To overcome the aforementioned drawbacks, satin cutting is often carried out on small surfaces.
Fustaia with successive cuts: it consists of contemporary plants whose cutting, however, does not take place simultaneously, but several times during a period of renewal more or less long. The renewal takes place naturally so that, after the cutting of the mature plants, the ground is already covered with new woods. As for the cuts made we can distinguish:
- preparation cut: it is carried out before the end of the shift (10-15 years) and has the purpose of thinning the wood in order to allow natural renewal; the preparation cut may also be missing if regular thinning has been previously carried out;
- cutting of seeding: it is carried out at the end of the shift, possibly near the pasture years; a more or less consistent mass is removed (40-70% of the total) depending on the species; subsequently (if the cut has not been consistent) secondary cuts can be made with which the rest of the mature plants are gradually removed;
- clearing or permanent cutting: it takes place a few years after that of sowing and consists in cutting the old plants when the new plants no longer need protection.
Fustaia with occasional cuts or thorns: it is made up of uneven plants scattered over the entire surface of the forest; provides for the cutting of plants that gradually reach maturity, which occurs occasionally (10-15 years) ensures continuous coverage of the soil and a natural renewal of the forest.
- Coppice coppice, if the plants are periodically (15 - 30 years) cut close to the ground; the cutting of the stems (coppicing) is performed during the vegetative rest of the plants in order to favor the emission of root suckers; in fact, by cutting in summer, the emission of suckers from adventitious buds of the trunk is favored which, in addition to early depletion of the stump, are not very robust and of limited development; although the stumps remain productive even 150-200 years, the problem of their reintegration always arises since the too short shift prevents adequate seed production; to overcome this drawback, coppice matriculation is carried out.
- Coppice to halter, if the cut is made at a clay height from the ground.
- Stump coppice, if the suppression of the branches and lateral branches is practiced, while the apical part of the stem which is covered with vegetation is respected.
Forest in autumn (photo http://real-ghost-bear.deviantart.com/)