Silviculture is the process of deciding the species and tree spacing most suited to the particular area and predicting the effect of operations on a variety of forest values including wildlife habitat, biodiversity and timber yield.
KVL has completed harvesting the remainder of their volume on the two licenses A77424 and A73726. Kalum Ventures has Silvicultural Obligations on areas harvested under these licenses. Compliance with these obligations is measured with two important Milestones.
Regen Delay - This is when there are a minimum number of acceptable crop trees that are established on the block.
Free Growing – This is when there are a minimum number of acceptable crop trees that are at least a minimum age and height. These trees must be free of unacceptable brush and pests.
Planning for achieving Silvicultural obligations begins before harvesting even starts. A Silviculture Plan is developed that anticipates actions such as planting and brushing needed to achieve Silviculture objectives. A block could be left for natural regeneration or it might be scheduled for planting. After harvest is complete, a crew will review the block to refine the plan. Usually they will cover the entire cutting area to determine if there are any foreseeable problem areas what would need assistance to reach the regen delay mile stone. More often than not, the cut blocks will naturally regenerate.
There are some areas that require some additional help, this could be fill planting or brushing/weeding.
Brushing and Weeding:
Competition Vegetation stagnates the growth of the young seedlings and can also kill the tree by shading out light or competing for nutrients and water. Common competing vegetation on the licences includes Fireweed, Raspberry, Blueberry, Salmon Berry, Elderberry, Braken Fern, Lady Fern and even deciduous trees such as Birch, Alder and Cottonwood.
To mitigate competition vegetation (Brush) a crew will go to the area of concern and manually brush around the seedlings. This treatment will allow more light to the tree, which will allow the tree to put on more height.
Before harvesting the forester would determine if planting is required and what stock is required to regenerate the block. After harvesting blocks are reviewed and additional areas may be planted. Planting is done manually with a planting shovel. The planter finds the best areas to plant the seedlings to give them the best chance to establish themselves. A full plant is where there is 100% coverage of the harvest area, and then a fill plant is where there is some natural regeneration that needs some assistance to achieve density requirements.
After there are enough trees the Forester can declare the block as Regen Delay Achieved. KVL will continue to monitor the stand until it reaches the next milestone.
Free growing is when the seedlings reach a stage where they are a minimum height and are above the competition vegetation. Trees must be healthy and growing well. Once the trees meet the height and density requirements, the stand is considered Free growing. This milestone ends the obligations and liabilities that KVL has on the harvested area. This will take anywhere between 8-20 years.