Reforestation in Poland: History, Current Practice and Future Perspectives

Main Article Content

Jacek Banach Kinga Skrzyszewska Jerzy Skrzyszewski

Abstract

In the past, the entire region of Poland was overgrown by forests. Due to economic changes, the forest cover was reduced to 40% in the 18th century and 21% after the Second World War. After the war, Polish foresters undertook considerable efforts to increase the forest cover to 30.8% by 2015. Polish forests are characterized by the dominance of oligo- and mesotrophic coniferous species (68.7%). This include the pioneer species, Scots pine. It covers approximately 60% of the area. The species composition of Polish forests determined the dominance of artificial regenerations. However, the currently prevailing direction of forest culture is natural regeneration. This tendency is related to “greening†of the forest management, the priority of durability over productivity and culture of multifunctional forests. A natural or seminatural direction of forest culture is being promoted. Renewal of the species such as fir, beech, oak, or spruce from the last stages of succession have always taken place in a natural manner, whereas the statistics are generated by the dominant species preferring open areas during renewal. Currently, the scale of natural regenerations of the pine is increasing. It is increasingly common to value the favorable economic aspect of natural renewal of the species, and the experience of practitioners supported by scientific research increase the likelihood for success. In Poland, the majority of methods of regeneration proceedings (forest cutting) and the law are directed at obtaining and promoting natural renewal. Independent of the concept of natural renewal promotion, the location of Poland in the intermediate climate zone, between the influence of oceanic and continental climates, resulted in the formation of valuable tree stands with high flexibility and tolerance to growth conditions. They are divided into seed stands, excluded stands, and timberlands. Thus, Poland is in possession of a great base for seed collection. At the beginning of 1990s, a rapid need for container seedlings occurred due to numerous disasters (wind-broken trees, gradations). Currently, in Poland, 17 field nurseries are in operation producing 1–10 m seedlings. In 1992, Poland received a loan from the World Bank to conduct afforestations and the “National Program for Increasing the Forest Cover†was started. The main objective of the plan is to increase the forest cover to 30% in 2020 and 33% in 2050. Within the program, it is planned to include vegetation of the natural succession in the area of approximately 80,000 ha.

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How to Cite
BANACH, Jacek; SKRZYSZEWSKA, Kinga; SKRZYSZEWSKI, Jerzy. Reforestation in Poland: History, Current Practice and Future Perspectives. REFORESTA, [S.l.], n. 3, p. 185-195, july 2017. ISSN 2466-4367. Available at: <http://journal.reforestationchallenges.org/index.php/REFOR/article/view/64>. Date accessed: 25 nov. 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.21750/REFOR.3.14.38.
Keywords
Poland, afforestation, forest nursery, seed base, natural regeneration, secondary succession
Section
Review article

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