The Slovak Republic ranks with its forest coverage (41,00%) compared with the state area among the
European countries with the highest forest rate. The land designed for growing of forest-tree species
comprises 1 923 510 ha (96,7% of the forest-land resources). In terms of predominant functions of
the forests and land management the forests are divided into commercial forests (68,2%), forests
for special purposes (17,2%) and protective forests (14,6%) providing ecological and protective
functions. Broadleaved species comprise in the forests of the Slovak Republic 58% and coniferous
ones 58% from the area.
What is it cultivation?
It is an influence of man and nature on the regeneration of forest stands. It involves a range of activities helping to their regeneration. To the basic of them belong:
- Preparation of the area before afforestation – brushwood levelling
- Grass and weed pruning
- Protection of young forest stands
For forest owners and foresters it is the most convenient when the forest regenerates by itself, i.e.
genes of the mother stand are preserved in the stand – under the standing mother trees grows a
young stand from their seeds. There are various methods which can help to the forest regeneration.
One of them is opening up of the forest stands. Of course it does not always work. The problem
of self-regeneration of the stands can be, e.g. weed (forest grass and herbs). Preparing soil by
digging of the area (50 x 50 cm) under the mother stand before seed years can also contribute to
the natural regeneration. The next step is mother stand cutting. Performing this activity forest land
administrators and woodcutters should avoid serious damage to the natural regeneration. It is
possible to reach by an appropriate cutting method – horse, forming wood into “lines”, lifts, etc.
Subsequently begins the preparation of the area before afforestation
– brushwood levelling. It is necessary to keep in view future activities which will be performed in this area, i.e. the shape and
size of the heaps should be kept not to hobble workers. Afforestation is one of the most important
activities of the forest regeneration. Within planning of afforestation the wood species rate in
the area is already being decided. It depends as well on the terrain position, soil type, natural
regeneration, altitude and regulations stated in the Forest Economic Plan. Planting of tree seedlings
begins with their sorting and transport to the place of afforestation. The root system has to be
protected from the wind (desiccation of root hairs). Every hole should meet the following criteria:
size, gradient, sufficient digging. The seedling is put into the hole properly and the soil around
it is pressed. This is the beginning of the cycle leading to the forest preservation for the future
Grass and weed pruning
– is the first activity performed after seedlings planting. It protects them
from weed smothering or overlying in the winter season and has been done for several years until
the seedling overgrows the weed.
Protection of young forest stands against biting off.
It is caused by cloven–hoofed game and hares which bite off young and terminal shoots. The trees are owing to it crooked and dwarfed. Biting off
can be prevented with chemical (Cervacol) or mechanical protection (fencing of young forest stands
or individual trees).
- Trunk gnawing – of young trees is caused by cloven-hoofed game and hares. The tree bark is
broken, rot gets into the wood, resin begins to leak and this influences the wood quality.
Damages can be prevented by fencing of the young forest stands, or laying the trunk around
with the rests after tree pruning or the branches from the concrete tree. It is possible to use
a plastic net or to treat the trunk with some of the wild animal repellents.
- Bark peeling off. Wild animals bite into the bark and pulling their head they peel it off. Rot
gets into the wood and the tree becomes dry.
Peeling off can be also prevented by a mechanical or chemical protection.
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