Reforestation Basics

Reforestation Basics

Small Woodlands Program of BC; Managing you woodland

Reforestation is the process of renewal during which a new stand of trees is regenerated on a forest site following a disturbance such as fire, windthrow, disease mortality or logging. Reforestation is an ongoing activity in a managed woodland following harvesting, and requires knowledge of the forest site, the species involved, risks and constraints and the establishment techniques available. Reforestation also requires advance planning, as well as follow-up monitoring and tending to be successful. 

Afforestation is similar to reforestation but involves establishing trees on sites that have previously been used for other purposes such as farm fields, old pasture lands, or lands that have been degraded in the past or subject to natural soil disturbing processes such as landslides, floods or glacial activity.

There are a number of ways to approach reforestation.

  1. You can let nature handle it (natural regeneration)
  2. You can assist nature (seed tree selection, site preparation)
  3. You can shortcut nature (artificial regeneration)
  4. You can carry out a combination of the above methods.

The method you choose will depend on a number of things, including:

  1. your management goals
  2. the presence of a seed source
  3. the site capability and characteristics
  4. your ability to finance reforestation
  5. the time period in which you want to establish a new crop.

Source: Woodlot