Reforestation in Wallonia, Belgium
19 August 2022
by Aricia
What’s up in Lierneux ?

As you know, it is important for PlantC and GoForest to give you information about the forest projects you supported.
At first, you received quite exhaustive information regarding the project, which you can always read on the site description on this platform. Then, you get an update when the survival rate has been checked. And finally, PlantC visits the projects after the survival rate check to collect the last information and pictures. Here's the feedback on our visit on 19 Augustus 2022 in Lierneux.
Let us remember some elements of the context.

This is reforestation project after following a forest management plan. This program aimed to support 2.000 trees in 0.9 hectare. This is a PEFC certified area.
Carbon offset : 192,27 tons CO2 eq. over a 30 years period.
17 working days over a 30 years period.

This surface welkomed a 2.000 trees plantation during Winter 2020/2021 mixing innovative species :
240 European spruce - Picea babies;
265 Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica);
133 Noble fir (Abies procera);
173 Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana);
133 Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna);
133 Red oak Quercus rubra;
133 small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata);
121 Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris);
199 Corsica pine (Pinus nigra subsp. Laricio Maire);
211 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and 259 Tsuga sp.

The survival rate will was checked during summer/autumn 2021, and the project is declared succesful.

We are going through the plots concerned in this month of August 2022. The forester and the forest manager welcome me, forest plans in hands. Very quickly, we understand their vigilance. The project is innovative, and it is therefore necessary to be vigilant in the layout. But also in the clearing (which is not necessary for hardwoods, but for softwoods).

We are 400 meters above sea level, and the number of deer is important. The numbers of roe deer are managed because they are territorial but not the deer. They therefore opted for the installation of a global fence that surrounds the plot.

Here the ground is very deep. Which is already a good sign. But there is also the climatic context. The end of winter 2021/22 was wet and the start of spring warm! The trees therefore sprouted early and suffered the late frosts in May. This will impact the tree formation size.

At the level of the herbaceous stratum, the hairgrass and the fern are present but not in the same places. When the hairgrass grows too much, it can smother the young plants. Milling is therefore necessary, in line, to facilitate recovery. Of course, this therefore involves an additional cost. Some species have a slower growth than others, yet it is an action that is necessary.

Foresters apply the ProSilva method on some of their plots. It is a form of forestry that relies strongly on natural processes. This is why natural regeneration is applied. For example, we can see the large presence of broom. This rather shrubby species is a very good nitrogen sensor, an essential element for living organisms. However, the germination of seeds takes place under specific conditions. He's an ally in the forest! No worries for the forester, because the broom will disappear naturally in 7 years.

Natural regeneration here allows for oak, birch, willow and Sorbus. And that's very good! Game cannot pass because of the fence, so some plants can be preserved in natural regeneration.

In general, even on unfenced plots, the sorbus is maintained because it is very popular with game (deer comes to rub against it, as well as cervid). Also rowan wood is very popular in woodworking. It also remains to mention the Tsuga which has more difficulty in its growth because it is stunted. If necessary, it will be replaced by pine during a relining.