Forests in Poland

Forest Cultivation

Forests, being long-lived complexes covering large areas, significantly influence the balance maintained in nature. This balance depends on a diversity of forest species, that is, it natural potential. Forests also protects soils by limiting their erosion, and store water in mosslands and peatbogs.

The main aim of the forest management is to maintain forest continuity and to expand the areas of forest covered areas. Monocultures (forests composed of single species, planted after the war) are regularly enriched with other species, by restructuring wood stands.

Forest cultivation includes collection and storage of tree seeds, production of seedlings in nurseries, and establishing, cultivation and protection of wood plantations and wood stands.

Forests other than wild ones are planted by foresters. Seedlings for this purpose are grown in nurseries. In Poland nurseries cover ca. 2.7 thousand ha, and produce over 800 million tree seedlings and nearly 13 million shrub seedlings every year. Areas with planted forest and restored are partly fenced, to reduce pressure of animals, particularly of herbivore mammals.

Cultivations undergo plant care and protection treatments. These activities aim at ensuring for plants the best growing conditions and at limiting competition between young trees and bushes and perennials that may stifle them.

The last stage of forest cultivation is restructuring of the stand by cutting down trees that are mature. The mature trees are removed from the forest, and in its place new forest is planted. Foresters also introduce biocenotic species, such as the rowan or fruit tree. The fruits of those trees provide more food to forest birds.

A particular role in seed management and protection of genetic resources is played by the Forest Gene Bank Kostrzyca, where nearly 5 thousand gene resources have been stored, representing the most valuable trees, the thickest and the oldest (over 200 years old) trees, as well as bushes and plants that are endangered or near extinction.

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