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“Baldo’s Forest”: selection felling based on traditional knowledge in a beech stand in the Tuscan Appenines

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Author(s): Bottalico F | Brundu P | Ciancio O | Nocentini S | Puletti N | Travaglini D

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 58;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Fagus sylvatica L | Selection felling | Uneven-aged stand | Forest structure | Local traditional knowledge

ABSTRACT
In Italy the prescribed silvicultural system for beech high forests has usually been the uniform shelterwood system. This system has not always been carried out and completed in the sequence codified by the literature. Consequently, beech forests show highly variable structures which do not meet the canons of classical silviculture. On the other hand, selection felling has usually been considered inadequate for beech forests because of the supposed “natural” tendency of this species towards even aged structures and of the belief that only even aged beech stands produce high quality timber. This paper analyzes a beech stand of 10 ha, “Baldo’s forest” from the name of its owner. This stand has been managed since the first half of the nineteenth century by the same family with a type of single tree selection felling carried out according to criteria handed down from father to son. This type of treatment aimed at the production of timber assortments linked to local traditions (wooden snow shovels carved out from one piece of beech wood); today the beech timber is sold to the furniture industry and provides a satisfactory income for the owner. All the trees have been inventoried in four permanent plots, each located in a part of the stand which has been selectively felled in a different year. Structural analysis has been carried out. Results show that the stand has a structure which is typical of single tree uneven aged stands. Crown cover is almost complete and regeneration is a continuous process.
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