· An Australian expert, L. D. Pryor, while working on a field assignment for FAO in Iraq, noted that some valuable Eucalypt species, all belonging to the systematic group Renantherae, grew weakly and in many cases became chlorotic and often died in the nursery soon after the second or third pair of leaves had been produced. It was thought at the time that the highly calcareous soils characteristic of much of Iraq may have contributed to the trouble. The view that chlorosis and poor growth or even death might be caused perhaps indirectly by excess of lime had some support in the evidence of E. camaldulensis. This species is the most commonly planted Eucalypt throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. It thrives in many localities but it is noticeable that, while tolerating some degree of lime, in the highly calcareous soils of Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Morocco it becomes at times chlorotic and fails. Recent work in Israel suggests that chlorosis can be corrected by a suitable iron injection and that the chlorosis is caused by a lime-induced iron deficiency.
In Cyprus, Chapman records 21 species of the Renantherae and 19 species of the Macrantherae (Normales) as having been introduced as seed, between 1878 and 1934, as well as species from other groups. It is true that in Cyprus, where Eucalypts have been required, the rainfall is low; nevertheless, five species of the Macrantherae (Normales) group (out of the 19 recorded as being introduced) are found growing on the island, but not one single specimen of the Renantherae, although eleven of the 21 introduced might have been considered likely to succeed from the general point of view of climate and soil.
Further results from trials by Monager (1963) who has planted Eucalypts in Les Landes, France, are interesting in this connection. As a result of his trials over four or five years he notes that the best species are E. gunnii; E. macarthuri; E. subcrenulata; E. rubida; E. dalrympleana; E. viminalis; E. stellulata; E. parvifolia; E. bicostata; and E. camaldulensis; whereas perhaps the most valuable ones E. gigantea; E. obliqua; E. regnans; E. andreana; B. robertsonii and E. pauciflora, have disappeared. It is striking that of these two groups the first belong to the Macrantherae with one exception (E. stellulata) and the second group belong entirely to the Renantherae.
On return to Australia, Pryor grew species of the Renantherae and Macrantherae in sterile soil. Under these conditions the Renantherae species developed the same chlorotic conditions observed in Iraq, while the Macrantherae did not show such symptoms. Highly chlorotic seedlings transferred from the sterilized soil to non-sterile soil regained their vigor, while those not transferred finally died. Examination showed the roots from the sterile soil to have no trace of fungal hyphae whereas those in the unsterilized soil showed a thin investiture of fungal hyphae.
This work was followed with various other investigations, among which was a trial of growing Renantherae and Macrantherae species in sterile soil inoculated with the spores of a Scleroderma. Chlorosis did not develop in the inoculated pots and microscopic examination showed a thick hyphal mantle. The untreated pots of Renantherae showed general discoloration and unthrifty growth.
Pryor suggests that a retrial of all the Renantherae species of outstanding importance as timber producers in Australia, is justified in areas where they have previously failed but where from considerations of climate and soil they might otherwise have been expected to succeed. Retrials to be made with the addition of Scleroderma spores from Australia to the potting soil overseas. Most of the chief timber producing Eucalypts of Eastern Australia are Renantherae species.
· An expert commission has proposed a long-range plan for the replanting of 136,000 hectares of mountain forest as a safeguard against avalanches. Inquiries in the province of Tyrol have shown that in the inhabited areas alone there are about 2,000 recorded avalanche paths. In recent years, two thirds of these have fallen across deforested elopes.
A report to FAO says that current afforestation of catchment areas and mountain pastures above the timber line has shown that knowledge with respect to growth conditions of forest plants in high mountainous districts is most inadequate. A research institute has been established in the Tyrol, which includes a department of climatic biology and a department of mycology, the former on the Patscherkofel mountain near Innsbruck (altitude 2,248 meters), and the latter located at Imst, Tyrol. with a field station at Obergurgl. The practical research work done there aims at facilitating afforestation work, making it feasible in a more economical way and ensuring greater success.
By artificial methods in specially air-conditioned environment and with the help of the most recent equipment, it is planned to bring about a drastic reduction in the time of experiments, to study the various influences on forest plants in high mountainous regions, and to derive special methods of planting and soil treatment from the knowledge thus gained.
Methods have been developed of inoculating nursery beds for conifers with mycorrhiza and these methods have proved suitable for afforestation at high altitudes. The degree of resistance of the young plants during their first years of growth is being greatly increased The results obtained have been indeed amazing, as shown by a comparison made between the nursery beds that have been, or have not been inoculated.
· A report to the United Nations describes the forests in the northern part of the British Trust Territory as being of two main types, closed High Forest Outliers and open Savanna Woodland. The forest is the source of large constructional timbers whereas, in general, the savanna woodland consists of a continuous grass cover with small, usually malformed. trees set among it. Of great local importance for the provision of fuel. simple native building materials and thatching grass, this savanna woodland has a wider economic importance in that it provides large areas of grazing lands. Remoteness and absence of communications have prevented even the closed high forest outliers from being exploited other than for purely local purposes.
From time immemorial the forests of both types have been used by the native inhabitants for the provision of firewood, simple building materials and minor forest products for food, medicines and other domestic purposes. Though the ancient use of the forest for the construction of dwellings lay chiefly in the provision of simple poles, as a framework for mud walls, and the raphia palm for rafters and roofing mats, yet another use of the forests for timber was in the making of hollowed out trunks for dug-out canoes.
The forests also played, and still play, an important role as the source of considerable quantities of animal protein. They provided also the fertile soil necessary for the growth of food crops, areas round villages being periodically felled, burnt and farmed for a short while.
As the farms became worked out, fresh areas were farmed and the old allowed to revert to forest fallow. As villages themselves not infrequently moved to fresh localities, the effect upon the vegetation was vast and it is doubtful whether to-day any forest which is more than a century old or so could be found except upon the most inaccessible hit/tops.
Such has been the practice for many years and the picture is, even to-day, hardly altered. It has not been possible, owing to the shortage of professional staff, to spare the full-time services of a forest officer solely for the northern part of the Trust Territory, and consequently it has not yet been possible to constitute any forest reserves. Recommendations for the reservation of two areas of high forest, totalling approximately 41,600 acres (16,800 hectares), have been accepted.
Over 19,000 acres (7,770 hectares) of savanna woodland have been declared as Communal Forest Areas.
No concessions have been granted for the development of timber or other forest industries so that it is not possible to forecast the attitude which the indigenous inhabitants would take, but there is reason to believe that it would not be unfavorable. Similarly, it is not expected that there will be any real opposition to the creation of forest reserves or communal forest areas.
In the Southern Cameroons, some districts are forest country; the rest of the territory is generally quite well wooded but in parts, such as the Bamenda highlands, timber is very scarce. The woodlands provide fuel and building poles, the forests timber for bridging and other heavy construction, and for export In addition, some trees have medicinal properties, some, like the calabash, provide utensils, and the raphia palm affords roofing material. Many houses are walled with planks from the pycnanthus kombo, a soft wood, locally called karraboard. Canoes are made from hot/owed-out trunks, though light wood is required for paddles. The long canes from climbing palms make hammock bridges, while other forest plants yield basket withies, fibres for matting, and resins, gums, and spices.
Because of the improvident farming methods already described, there is little if any forest in the territory more than a century old. Timber exports began under German rule, one of the most highly valued being ebony. In the Southern Cameroons, there are 1,454,000 acres (588,400 hectares) of forest reserve.
· Projected development on a large scale of timber, mineral and hydroelectric resources in northern British Columbia has been reported in the press.
An "agreement of intent" has been entered into with Swedish interests, and the project may eventually entail considerable investments, particularly for the construction of a high-speed railway of a unique design. Secondary developments deal with utilization of the forest resources on a sustained yield basis, extraction of minerals and extensive hydroelectric installations.
Contracts have already been signed for surveys covering not only the railway alignment, but also forest inventory and mineral discovery. Outstanding specialists in each field from Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada have been engaged.
On the other side of Canada, in Newfoundland, all pulpwood can - and most does - travel to its mill by water, either coastwise by barges tugged for anything up to 36 hours or riverwise according to the speed of the current and the appetite of the mill.
The men concerned in the operations are not so well served with means of transportation as their logs. Though singe 1949 the Provincial Government has been spending large sums on expanding the road system, it so happens that much of the forest now being out over or scheduled for cutting soon is without those means of transportation which well-paid men expect.
It is perhaps fortunate that almost all the men in question are accustomed to isolation and know far better than most Canadians how not to be frustrated by the simple life. They are fishermen and sons of fishermen from the outports, and it is amazing how quickly a Newfoundland fisherman becomes a woodsman. And a woodsman in those northern forests is not only a feller of trees. He takes to anything from cost accountancy at the depot to handling a gigantic tracklaying bulldozer. Everything that can be done by machine is done by machine. Output per man-hour is the prime consideration, and the trees tumble with formidable speed. Two interesting developments have recently come about from this feverish sense of urgency: the power saw and the insect repellent. The former is estimated to increase the cutter's output by one third and the latter to keep him in the woods when otherwise he would not go near them.
· The Forestry College in Cyprus completed its fifth academic year in 1956 with 36 students, of whom 35 scoured their certificates. Up to date, 90 students have completed their training; 58 of them have returned to posts in Cyprus and 32 foreign students to key posts in the Forest Services of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Libya, British Somaliland, British Honduras and the British West Indies. For the sixth academic year, which started in October 1956, the student registration comprised: 20 Cypriots, 3 Libyans, 4 Iraqis, 2 Iranians, 2 Lebanese, Somali and from British Honduras, all of whom are taking a two-year course to forest ranger level.
· During the last decade the stock of deer in Denmark has increased considerably as has been the case in most Northern and Central European countries, and the damage, particularly that caused by red deer, has raised a growing anxiety among foresters and farmers. To tackle the problem and to find, if possible, a sound and proper equilibrium between productive interests and wild life conservation, the Ministry of Agriculture has set up a wild life commission with particular regard to deer. In collaboration with the Danish Game Biology Station, this commission is now compiling data and initiating investigations to acquire a better knowledge of the biology of the deer and of possible management measures to protect forest and agricultural crops.
· A good example of international co-operation in regard to the utilization and protection resource is reported by the FAO Regional Forestry Officer for Latin America.
In 1960, El Salvador began the construction of a hydroelectric station on the Lempa river. The initial output of this station, 30,000 kilowatts, was later raised to 46,000 kilowatts. The plan singe has been to bring output up to 75,000 kilowatts, but this further increase could only be obtained by drawing on the waters of the frontier Lake Güija, two thirds of which die in El Salvador and one third in Guatemala.
Negotiations between the countries were recently brought to a successful conclusion. El Salvador has agreed to supply a certain amount of electric power to Guatemala, while Guatemala in turn has agreed to take all the necessary protective measures - particularly forest protection - to prevent any silting up of Lake Güija as a result of erosion of the mountain slopes encircling the lake.
· A report to FAO states that, last year, two enterprises exporting prefabricated wooden houses united into one organization which began its activities at the beginning of February 1967.
The Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish newsprint producers have established in London a common sales organization for the United Kingdom.
A number of sulphite pulp industries have established a joint company for the marketing of sulphite alcohol, which started functioning at the beginning of July last year.
· The Annuaire général du commerce et des industries du bois, France Bois, 1957, contains full information with regard to:
Public services and professional organizations the wood-working industries classified by specialized field
French constructors of equipment for all the various trades concerned with wood
A geographical and alphabetical classification of forest enterprises and sawmills.
This directory is of the greatest use to all those who have dealings with the French timber industries and trade.
· New trains of a revolutionary design are in use on one of the Régie autonome des Transports parisiens underground lines. The tired vehicles do not travel on steel rails but on wooden tracks of Azobe from the Cameroons. The advantages claimed for these trains are speed, light weight, big transport capacity, extremely smooth running, and that they are practically noiseless. Long investigations proved that wood alone gave entire satisfaction: negligible wear, even after 200,000 kilometers, perfect electric insulation, easy assembly and low cost.
Germany, Federal Republic
· Determined efforts are being made, it is reported, to keep timber fellers at work all through the year. This is especially important in the case of trained specialists, because with the present full employment in the economy, there is always the danger that loggers will quit their work and join industry. A fair distribution of work throughout the year is more difficult in hardwood regions where fellings are limited to the winter period, while in softwood forests logging operations may be carried on also in summer time. So far, some success has been reached in hardwood forests by concentrating road building and other work into the summer months.
Investigations on the planning and organization of all types of forest work have been carried out in Baden-Württemberg. The whole work load of a district has been analysed and correlated to the existing manpower. and the administration has been enabled in this way to guarantee full employment by appropriate planning and to do away with disproportions which were so common previously
To keep loggers in their jobs, it is most important to facilitate their work and to diminish their physical exertions, as all experience proves that manpower flows to lighter work. The steady training of forest workers in schools and in the forests in connection with the introduction of better tools and equipment, has already resulted in a marked increase in productivity. Living conditions of forest workers have greatly improved.
The shortage of young apprentices and the heavy proportion of older age-classes are still a danger. In 1956, 107, 259 forest workers were employed in German forests against 125,336 in 1955 But in spite of this decrease. the planned program was accomplished owing to intensified mechanization and rational work schedules.
ETHIOPIA: This photograph by an FAO officer shows how the capital, Addis Ababa (middle distance) is surrounded by artificially created forests of Eucalyptus globulus.
· The development of wood preserving procesees and the utilization of chemicals locally available have stimulated the full and integrated utilization of homegrown timber. Telephone and electric poles, durable grape stakes, fence posts and banana supports are now available and result in a tremendous saving on forest drain. Prior to this development work, posts of all kinds for agricultural use required replacement every one to three years. Treated material should now last 15 to 20 years.
Factories have been established to utilize various waste materials for the production of wallboard, hardboard and chipboard. Small bolts are also being utilized for the production of excelsior to be used with cement to form building blocks.
· During the financial year which ended on 31 March, New Zealand Forest Products Limited is claimed to have contributed the equivalent of U.S. $16.8 million to the country's balance of payments through export earnings and import savings. Exports reached nearly [T. S. $5.6 million, while local sales of pulp and paper products are said to have saved over U.S. $11.2 million for imports.
Most of the exports were made to Australia and represented one quarter of New Zealand's total exports to that country. Pulp was also sold to Great Britain, South Africa, India and Japan.
The Company also remained the largest exporter of timber, and sold a small quantity of wallboard and paper overseas
During the year 1957-58, production of pulp is expected to reach 65,000 tons. A bleaching plant is being installed to produce a greater variety of pulps and papers. The capacity of the kraft paper machine is also being extended.
· Correct silvicultural treatment of tropical forests depends to high degree on the knowledge or lack of knowledge of the operators and forest workers. In Nigeria, sample plots are maintained to cheek the damage caused to saplings and poles of commercially valuable species during operations under the Tropical Shelterwood System.
The two main types of damage, caused mainly by ignorance, are the cutting back of saplings of valuable species, and the poisoning of poles of valuable species. Poisoning operations are regarded as normal treatment as a means of destroying shade-casting uneconomic trees of the middle and lower stories in the tropical forest, but the operation frequently results in loss of valuable trees. Cutting back results in loss of height growth and in pollarding which may result in the lower bole being misshapen.
· A prominent article in a national newspaper pleads for greater consideration to be given to the conservation and development of the forest resources of Panama.
Plans are progressing and work is being done on building and improving the highways in and adjacent to the Republic of Panama. The new highways will open up timber land which has not been accessible from present highways or from the rivers and coast.
Indiscriminate logging and clearing can have various bad effects. The most obvious is that valuable trees are used up without replacing them, thus depleting natural resources of the nation. Also serious is that, when the trees are removed, the heavy rains may carry away the soil and ruin the land. In extreme cases the land may become so eroded by gullies that it can never be reclaimed for any useful purpose.
Timber industries, properly directly and operated, can contribute enormously to the economy of the country The old concept of logging the forests mostly to export mahogany and a few of the other popular tropical woods, or having a sawmill to make lumber from just one or a very few kinds of trees, is giving way to more scientific ideas of diversified wood industries that use a variety of trees and give employment to many people, at the same time furnishing items needed by the country, as well as for export.
Apart from the export of logs and production of boards for local use or export, other wood industries of present or potential value include: the cutting of fence posts, railroad ties, firewood, telephone and telegraph poles, piling for construction of docks and wharfs, and the manufacture of veneers, plywood, fibreboard, chipboard, charcoal, pulp and paper products, furniture, toys and novelties, boxes, crates, baskets and prefabricated houses or individual parts such as door frames and window frames.
It is easy to discuss new concepts and large industries, but in practice there are difficulties in any tropical logging and lumbering operations. One of the problems is capital' especially for an industry sufficiently complex to take full advantage of all the available species of trees.
INDIA: An FAO Technical Assistance officer on assignment in India sent this photograph of land slips in the Siwalik Mountains which have contributed to the heavy siltation of streams. The slip on the right is healing through the natural invasion of scrub vegetation while control of the slip on the left is being attempted by the use of brush wood revetments. Abusive land use, especially grazing, is partially the cause of such conditions.
Another problem may be labor supply, especially of skilled technicians. Transportation is another one; shipping or floating logs by water is usually cheaper than trucking.
In the establishment of huge industries there may be a danger of squeezing out the little man, who is so important in the overall economy of the country. The ideal situation would be to have large industries and small operations, too. The latter should at least include tree farming or logging and lumbering by individuals and small companies.
The present and contemplated expansion of the country's highway system will open up more forest areas, increasing the necessity and urgency for good planning, legislation and action both to conserve natural resources and to develop industries based on these natural resources.
· A report to the European Forestry Commission states that official testing of forest machines has started. Reports on the testing of a number of power saws have been published by the State Agriculture Machinery Testing Center, Ultuna.
During recent years intensive research work has been carried out to increase the employment of the. 120,000 agricultural wheel tractors in forestry. The ability of wheel tractors to operate in pathless terrain and in deep snow has been improved with various semi-track devices. One problem has been to produce a suitable timber transport trailer which can be attached to wheel tractors. A construction competition was arranged and was successful.
The large-scale forestry operations in Northern Sweden have shown, however, that the mechanical draft-power in forest operations ought to consist of specially designed crawlertractors. Good results have been attained when using small crawlers where the conventional stiff track body has been changed for a new bogie-construction with a more flexible spring system. This arrangement means better ability of the tractor to operate in deep snow and also many advantages when driving on bare ground.
Research with forest tractors is also a part of the intensified experiments with timber transport in deep snow. In large parts of the country, the main logging operations are still restricted to the winter. Deep snow - which is normal in Northern Sweden - is then an aggravating factor for the tellers as well as for the haulers. Among other things it means great costs to plow and maintain skidding tracks and hauling roads. The "compact snow" road has proved to be a rational method. It is built up by packing the loose snow, using tractors or special machines. The packing of the snow changes its structure and this gives a solid foundation for a road. A good compact snow road can carry truck traffic.
Owing to the climate and to transport conditions, a great deal of the timber has to be debarked for storing in the forest for a short or long time. As manual debarking amounts to half of the work in cutting timber, mechanized debarking has attracted much attention in the rationalization efforts of Swedish forestry. The main difficulty is to combine the qualities of reliability and capacity in a transportable machine.
In 1955, a Swedish type appeared which gave solution -to some of the technical as well as economical debarking problems. As forest industries are also investing money in permanent debarking drums and other machines of high efficiency, it can be foreseen that manual debarking will decrease rapidly in a few years.
· Higher education in forestry is provided by the Faculty of Forestry, University of Istanbul, which began in 1857. Professors of this faculty are exchanged with the professors of German universities. The teaching staff consists of 11 professors, 9 associate professors and 23 assistants. The number of students is 580 for the year 1956-57.
SWITZERLAND: A completely new type of Wyssen Skyline crane can now carry 5 ton loads over a distance of 1,200 yards (1,000 meters) on a single cable. A larger winch is at present in production which will increase the haulage length to over a mile. The new automatic carriage eliminates the use of the sliding 'stop' along the main cable which was essential on former lighter models, and this greatly increases the output. Logs from a strip of forest 400 feet (122 meters) wide and nearly one mile (1.5 kilometers) long can now be collected from the ground and delivered at the unloading terminal at the rate of about 20 tons per hour, with a crew of five men.
The Skyline crane is also used for transporting heavy water-pipes or constructional materials over difficult terrain.
The faculty has an experimental forest and a nursery of its own. In addition, the students continue their practical field work under their professors in three modern forest enterprises of the General-Directorate of Forests.
The subordinate forestry personnel are trained in the schools run by the General Directorate of Forests. At present, there is a school in Düzce for training in practical forestry work, and one for forest guards in Araç.
The school in Düzce enrols students from secondary public schools. The period of education is three years, and in each academic year the students are given theoretical courses in forestry for seven months and practical forest training for three months. The graduates of this school do technical field work under the District Rangers. At present, the school has 11 teachers and 135 students.
The training courses at the school for forest guards in Araç last for a year. Young villagers who have completed their primary education and their military service are given priority for acceptance at the school. The students are given both theoretical and practical courses in forest conservation and improvement.
· Reference is made earlier in this issue to a report by the Natural Resources Committee on Forestry, Agriculture and Marginal Land.
A summary of the conclusions of this report reads as follows:
The present report summarizes the results of an extensive study of the problems involved in increasing the use of indigenous sources of timber, and of the repercussions of afforestation on the agricultural use of marginal land.
During the 1939-45 war, the main goal of agriculture policy was the maximum output of milk and of crops for direct human consumption. The emphasis of the postwar expansion program has shifted in recent years to the production of livestock. The hill and upland livestock rearing areas are of vital importance to this policy, of which the general aim is to achieve the greatest economic production possible.
It has long been customary to import most of the timber used, but shortages in two world wars have emphasized the need for domestic supplies. The Forestry Commission were therefore charged in 1945 with a fifty-year planting program designed to supply essential requirements of timber in emergencies. Strategic considerations have changed since then but, on the other hand, there is a greater economic reason now for investment in the planting of trees.
The upland districts of the United Kingdom are already sparsely populated, and the trend is towards further depopulation. Soil fertility in these areas is generally low, and in some districts is progressively deteriorating. In view of the ever-recurring threat of trading difficulties, one cannot view with equanimity the under-use, amounting in places to abandonment, of much marginal land made up of rough grazings and waste lands. These categories of land, extending over 20 million acres, constitute almost two fifths of the land surface.
Various surveys of rough grazing and marginal land have shown that the productivity of some 4 million acres could readily be improved, and that much of this land could be dealt with at less than £30 per acre1. These acres play an essential part in domestic meat production as a breeding and rearing ground for cattle and sheep, and their depopulation is a source of increasing anxiety. Population and agricultural production can be maintained only by more capital investment, but the development of agriculture will not, by itself be sufficient to correct the situation.
1 £1 per acre = $7 per hectare.
Although physical conditions in the United Kingdom are more favorable to the growth of trees than in many European countries, the proportion of the land surface of the United Kingdom which is under forest is less than in any other Western European country. Even so, much of the land classified as woodland is at present unproductive. The planting program of the Forestry Commission is, however, being delayed by the difficulty of acquiring suitable land. It is estimated that more than 4 million acres of rough grazing are suitable for afforestation. Much of this land is on livestock hill farms, but areas of coppice and commons provide opportunities for forestry.
Comparisons between the financial returns of agriculture and forestry are difficult, because of the great difference in the length of their production cycles. Studies by the Committee of a number of selected areas in the United Kingdom suggest that, on marginal upland areas, forestry may have a slight advantage over agriculture in returns on invested capital. Although the assessment of the relative import-saving value of forestry and agriculture on such land is very difficult, in the long term, forestry would apparently show an advantage over agriculture.
Imports of wood and wood products cost at present about £430 millions per annum, including about £180 millions for saw timber. There is likely to be a continuing domestic demand for any sound commercial saw timber that can be produced, and even the Forestry Commission's full program of 5 million acres of productive forest would meet only one third of present requirements. The main problem is to dispose of the increasing quantity of thinnings. A substantial proportion will continue to be used for pit-props, and now factories are being erected for the manufacture of building board and chip board. Wood pulp for paper and for man-made fibres comprises a large part of imports of timber products. If certain technical difficulties were solved, there would appear to be scope for a substantial increase in the production of wood pulp for paper.
Other home sources of pulp for paper production are waste paper and surplus straw, but these are unlikely, in normal circumstances, to provide a greatly increased contribution to supplies of pulp. Commonwealth sources of pulp, particularly rayon pulp, are likely, however, to continue to be competitive with home-produced supplies. The further development of wood pulping plants in this country based on the use of home-produced timber will depend on the economics of relatively small-scale pulping units and on the encouragement given by the home timber industry and by appropriate Government Departments to the establishment of such factories.
A number of practical difficulties are hindering the Forestry Commission a planting program and the development of private woodlands. Lack of immediate financial advantage, the need for large capital investment, and the shortage of skilled forest workers make it improbable that private interests will engage in afforestation. to any significant extent.
The program of the Forestry Commission is hampered by the difficulty of acquiring suitable land; by competition from other interests for the type of land required; by the need for extensive consultation before acquiring land; and in some areas by the hostility of local people to the idea of afforestation. If present conditions continue, it is unlikely that the rate of planting originally envisaged will be achieved.
A number of reports concerning particular areas in Scotland and Wales draw attention to the importance of forestry, when properly integrated with agriculture, as a means of strengthening the social and economic fabric of the countryside.
UKRAINE: This photograph taken during the FAO study tour organized last year in the U.S.S.R., shows cultivation work in a State forest shelterbelt at Belgorod on the River Don, Kharkov Region, Ukraine. The Ukraine S.S.R. has applied for membership in FAO.
The Committee regard this as generally applicable to all similar land in the United Kingdom. Afforestation of the less fertile areas of such regions would provide shelter for livestock and supplies of timber for fencing, etc. It could also lead to economies in capital services such as roads and schools; to an increase in the rural community; and to the possibility of sharing heavy equipment between forestry and agriculture. Even though integration would involve higher costs of afforestation than the planting of trees in large compact areas, the advantages appear to outweigh the extra costs.
If proper integration is to be attained, the Forestry Commission and the Agricultural Departments would have to co-operate more closely in the future than they have in the past. A few farms might be used for the purpose of demonstrating the value of the policy of integration to the agricultural community. The Forestry Commission might also assist private owners by undertaking forestry development on an agency basis, with the possible assistance of government loans. Technical advice on the advantages of forestry should also be more readily available to landowners and farmers.
If the best two is to be made of marginal hill lands for forestry and agriculture, attention will have to be directed to the continuing existence of small and uneconomic farm units. The committee believe that the solution of this problem is closely related to the integrated use of marginal hill land for forestry and agriculture which they advocate.
· A large number of consumers of timber, merchants and growers make use of the facilities offered by the Forest Products Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. During 1956 and 1956, more than 10,000 written enquiries were dealt with, in addition to many verbal enquiries. The advice sought and given covered a wide variety of subjects ranging from the manufacture of hardboard from tropical timber to the erosion of aluminium in contact with wood. As well as conducting fundamental research into the properties of wood, the laboratory undertakes seasoning, wood-working and strength tests both on imported hardwoods and on thinnings from British plantations.
Research continues at the laboratory to improve methods of working timber; the production of now types of machinery and the improvement of existing ones are carried out mainly by industry.
The use of home-grown mining timber has increased in the last two years. A private chipboard factory is operating in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, entirely on small coniferous thinnings. Work is proceeding on the building of a hardwood pulp mill in Monmouthshire, Wales; this mill, which is also being built by private enterprise, will provide a valuable outlet for small size silvicultural thinnings and some of the assortments of produce arising from the clearance of derelict hardwood coppice and scrub in South Wales and south west England.
In Wales, plans for integrating sawmilling with the production of mining timber and the manufacture of insulation board from waste have further advanced and a start made on the erection of the board mill. This also is a private venture.
United States of America
· The Fifth World Forestry Congress will be hold in the United States of America in 1960. The Council of FAO agreed in June that a site in the Pacific Northwest - in Oregon or Washington State - will be the center of the meeting of foresters, representatives of forest industries, and experts in research and in the use of forest products.
Although FAO has no direct responsibility for the meetings, which began in 1926 under the auspices of the former International Institute of Agriculture, it has by custom played an important role in the organization and conduct of the congresses. The meetings are composed of individuals rather than of government representatives, and the responsibility for the technical and financial arrangements rests with the host country. Since FAO's formation, its Forestry Division has been made available to help the host country in planning the Congress, collecting background papers and seconding officers.
The leader of the U.S. delegation to the FAO Council in Madrid said the widespread interest of forestry people and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the work of foresters all over the world, plus the greatly increased application of modem methods for management practices in the United States would make for the greatest exchange of benefits between host and guests. Washington and Oregon, he said, offer a wide variety of forest conditions and industries, as well as experimental stations, forests schools, nurseries, research installations, tree farms. national parks and other forest institutions.
A preparatory organizing committee has been set up to begin the work of arranging the Congress.
· Controlled burning as a silvicultural tool in the slash-longleaf pine. type in the state of Florida has reached the stage in which its practice and its safe application can be standardized, according to the Florida Board of Forestry. The primary aims are to reduce fuels in the "roughs", to prepare ground for natural seeding, and to control brown spot disease on young longleaf pine.
To prepare for burning it is necessary to plow firelines first at the leeward edge of the area to be burned, and then adding additional prepared lines paralleling the baseline and from 600 to 800 feet (180 to 240 meters) from it and each other. The area must, of course, be carefully selected, meaning the right size for the pines so that they will not be severely damaged. If good hardwoods are present, the area should not be burned, but undesirable hardwoods may be damaged or destroyed by the fires. The time to burn should be selected when there is a steady, moderate wind, and during the nongrowing season, and preferably after a winter rain. The first fire is set progressively along the baseline of the leeward edge and, after it burns into the wind for 100 feet (30 meters) or so, fire can be set along the next line and so on until the entire area is covered in sections. Careful watching and patrol during the burning area is, of course, required along the baseline and the sidelines.
The general range of costs is from $0.10 to $0.30 per acre ($0.25 to $0.75 per hectare) but, particularly on smaller areas, it can go higher.
· One unforeseen problem of fighting forest fires in the inaccessible areas of the National Forests in the western United States has been the reconditioning of the kapok sleeping bags which have been traditionally provided for fire fighters.
The problem is reported to have been solved by providing paper sleeping bags which are durable enough to last during the usual fire campaign, and cheap enough so that they may then be abandoned. The bag is 6½ x 3¼ feet (2 x 1 meter), made of ¼ - inch (0.62 centimeter) cellulose with two retaining layers of 40-pound (18 kilograms) creped and dry waxed kraft paper, with a protection flap of paper and draft curtain of soft cloth. The bag weighs 4½ pounds (2 kilograms). If used at high elevations or in early or late season, the bags may be cold, in which case additional paper blanket inserts are provided.
The only unsolved problem is that the paper bags rustle and are noisy!
· Most genetical work in the United States has concentrated (in improving forest trees and stands in growth, tree form and other qualities or characteristics which may be determined by inspection and readily made measurements. Although it has been evident that the quality of the wood is, at least in major part, dependent on genetical factors, the techniques for determining these qualities have not until recently been developed.
Two years ago, the Forest Products Laboratory at Madison undertook a study from the genetical standpoint of wood quality of the southern pines, a group of species known to display wide variation in wood quality due to genetical factors. The new techniques have now been largely developed, and permit rapid, accurate determination on large numbers of small samples from living trees. One of these techniques is the maximum moisture method for determining specific gravity of aggregate or single annual rings in increment cores and very small samples of separated springwood and summerwood. Another involves use of fluorescent microscopy for measuring fibril annuals on standard increment cores.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This poster was issued by the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in connection with the Soil Bank Program mentioned in Unasylva, Volume 11, Number 2.
Through these techniques, wood quality evaluations determine percentage of summerwood, fibril angle and wood density, all of which are strongly correlated with such quality factors as mechanical strength, shrinkage and pulp yields. Together they provide a reliable index to the suitability of wood for lumber, pulp or other common uses. By comparing the results with previously established relationships, a rating scale can be made which classifies trees as below average, average, above average or outstanding in intrinsic wood quality.
As methods are expanded to study the hardwoods, other properties will have to be taken into consideration. An interesting sidelight is that it has been found, accidentally, that curly grain in hybrid poplars is apparently a genetical quality, and this opens a wide range of future research to examine further the desired features of grain which are sought in fine cabinet woods. This particular poplar is now being tested through progeny tests.
· In order to enable fuller use to be made of mechanized equipment in forest operations and to make the forests generally more accessible, the policy of substantial investment in forest road construction was continued in 1956 and over 1,000 kilometers of roadway were built, states an official report to FAO.
Some of the large forest industrial plants, primarily those making ply-wood and fibreboard, have been remodeled and re-equipped to increase production capacity and efficiency.
The increased output of coal, electric power and combustible gas in the country has led to a sharp reduction in fuelwood consumption in the towns. Even in rural areas, the villagers have been induced to cut less wood for domestic fuel, making more timber available for industrial uses.