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Appendix II
Country notes on forest plantation areas



Establishment of forest plantations in Kenya has been stable over several decades. The annual planting rate of about 4 to 5 thousand ha has continued from the early 1960's. With the harvesting of mature plantations and the replanting of the cut over area, total area under government plantation has remained virtually constant over last five years at 168,000 ha. Most of the plantations have been established for the production of industrial wood under “shamba” (taungya) an agroforestry system. However, the people engaged in these plantations have created problems because they treat these forest plantations as their home and settle there permanently. Exotic conifers, Cupressus lusitanica (45%) and pines (40%) mostly P. patula and P. radiata constitute the bulk of plantation species and are found in highland areas west and east of the Rift Valley. These softwood plantations are considered adequate for sawn timber requirements up until the end of this decade and for pulpwood at the present consumption. Agroforestry is practised seriously in the country on private lands mostly for the production of fuelwood but the scale of implementation has not been indicated.


The scale of plantations in Nigeria up to the mid 1960's was quite modest. Following an FAO study (1968), along with other studies from that period, on the feasibility for the pulp and paper industry in Nigeria, the scale of plantation in Nigeria was increased during the 1970s bringing the average annual establishment up to 11,000 ha. Total plantation area to the end of 1984 was 209,300 ha (1986 report). National progress reports of 1989 and 1991 maintained the same figure of total plantation area. The latest document on plantations in Nigeria by the Forest Management, Evaluation and Coordination Unit (FORMECU, July 1991) has estimated total plantation area up to the end 1990 as 216,000 ha out of which the gmelina occupies about 90,000 ha. Other dominant species in the plantation are Tectona grandis, Azadirachta indica, Terminalia spp., Acacias spp., and Nauclea diderichii. Pines and eucalypts have been planted to a limited extent. The report is, however, based on a questionnaire survey conducted by state forestry departments and no detailed plantation inventory has been carried out. Due to under development of the forest industry sector the domestic market of the extensively planted gmelina wood is very poor (Omoluabi: 1990).

At present, emphasis has changed towards agroforestry plantation and from government to private sector plantations for pulpwood production. No indication anywhere has been given about the current annual rate of plantation establishment nor the area established under community forestry.


Plantations in Sudan began in the early 1930s by planting exotic tree species like Tectona grandis for production of fuelwood and to meet the requirement of good quality timber which was scarce in native forests. Plantations of native species, e.g. Acacia senegal, started for the production of gum arabic, a good foreign exchange earner. Its production, in 1989, was 23,000 tonnes, earning US$ 52 million (2) from about 50,000 ha. Other dominant species in the plantations are Acacia nilotica, Eucalyptus microtheca, Azadirachta indica, Khaya spp., Prosopis chilensis and Cupressus lusitanica. The de-centralization of the forestry administration took place during late 1970s. Due to serious shortcomings of transportation and other resources the actual plantation area figures from different regions rarely reach the central office for compiling at the national level. The plantation area figures reported by Sudan since 1977 are, therefore, based on estimates. There is no record of a national level inventory of plantations or assessment of survival rate. Some plantations are reported to have been damaged by fire, grazing and illicit cutting but the extent of damage is unknown.


In Tanzania, in the 1950s, moderate plantations began for the production of industrial wood and culminated in a plantation rate of 3,000 ha per year during 1967/68. In 1977, after it was decided to construct a pulp and paper mill at Mufindi, industrial planting was accelerated, although mostly confined to Sao Hill, and planting during 1978/79 was approximately 7,400 ha. However, industrial planting since 1981 has been reduced, except in the Sao Hill area, mainly due to reduction of external financial assistance up to that point. Total industrial plantation was about 70,000 ha. Pines (mostly P. patula) and cypress constituted the main species with small proportion of teak. The total area under industrial plantations established up to 1990 was about 80,000 ha, 50% of which is situated in Sao Hills. Softwood plantations established during 1962–65 and harvested in 1989 have given an average mean annual increment of 21–25 m3/ha per year (Personal communication) which is considered quite high.

Plantation under the village afforestation programme, initiated during 1975 to meet the increasing demand for fuelwood, has become the main focus. Rates of village afforestation have been recorded in area terms by converting nursery plants reported to have been distributed to the people by means of a conversion factor of 1600 seedlings to 1 ha. Since 1980 about 10,000 ha have been planted annually under this programme. Ahlbäck (1988) has commented that actual satisfactorily stocked areas under this programme are less than half of the reported areas. There is, however, no record of survival rates of inventory data of such plantations. Tree species used in village afforestation are mostly hardwoods e.g. A. albida, Eucalyptus spp., Leucaena leucocephala, Cassia siamea, Grevalia robusta, etc. and Azadirachta indica to some extent.


Forestry plantations in Zimbabwe have been developed over many years by private companies and the state. Industrial wood produced from these plantations now shares more than 50% of the total industrial wood production of the nation. As per the 1989–90 survey of plantations conducted via questionnaire by the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe, total planted area at the 30th of June 1990 was 120 329 ha, of which 104,590 ha was industrial plantation and rest non-industrial. About 60% of the industrial plantations are privately owned and rest are state owned. Pines constitute the majority (70%) of the industrial plantations situated in Manicaland province, the rest is made up of eucalypts (16%) and wattle (13%). Most of the non-industrial plantations, which are 90% eucalypts, are owned by private individuals. Under the World Bank aided Rural Afforestation Project (1983–89), besides block planting on communal land by state Forestry Division, production of seedlings for distribution to the people has increased. Establishment of new plantations during 1989/90 was about 2,000 ha but the future plan is to afforest about 5,000 ha annually until 1993.



It has been estimated that Brazil had about 500,000 ha total plantation area until 1966. With the enactment of the Fiscal Incentive Law in 1966, planting of fast growing species gained a new stimulus, especially in Southern and Southeastern Brazil. Average annual planting rate gradually rose to 400,000 ha during 1974–82. Due to financial problems and misuse of fiscal incentives by the private planters, the fiscal incentive was reduced by the government in 1983 and finally stopped in 1988. This resulted in reduction of annual planting to about 200,000 ha. The total plantation area of 6.252 million ha up to 1986 quoted in the time series table (appendix I) is the area approved for afforestation. Actual area of plantation has not been reported.

About 90% of the plantations established in Brazil until 1986 are owned by large private companies and individuals. Since fiscal incentives were also applicable to fruit bearing trees, private planters planted about 550,000 ha fruit trees (apple, mango, cashew, citrus, and Brazilian nuts) and approximately 235,000 ha of palms.

Approximately 40% of the plantations have been established to provide raw material for the pulp and paper industry, 25% for plywood and particleboard etc and 35% to produce charcoal for smelting pig-iron.

The last national level inventory of plantations, concentration on those plantations developed under the fiscal incentive scheme was carried out in 1981–82. Against 3.34 million ha of the total approved plantations 87% were found to be successfully established. In the absence of any fresh inventory, it is assumed that the same success rate was maintained. The net plantation area estimated at the end of 1990 was therefore 6.10 million ha.


Prior to 1960, Cuba had an insignificant plantation area. Plantation activity increased after the creation of INDAF (Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo y Aprovechamiento Forestales) in 1967 and until the early 1980s it attained an annual planting rate of about 10,000 ha. A massive plantation programme was launched in 1987 with the participation of the people, local companies and cooperatives. Besides planting trees on marginal agricultural lands for the production of wood, fruit, and shade bearing, mangroves are also being planted for protection. Of the total 350,000 ha which was under state government up to 1990, about 35% was planted during 1988–90, with a further 150,000 ha being planted in the non-government sector during the same period. An inventory of state plantations carried out in 1989 revealed a total plantation area of 332,700 ha but there is no information on growth and yield from plantations. Plantations in the non-government sector have not been surveyed.


Plantations in Peru started with planting Eucalyptus globulus in 1963 in the mountainous region. Prior to 1976, about 100,000 ha was planted. The average annual rate of planting was then increased to more than 11,000 ha. Of the total plantation area of about 208,000 ha by 1985, 200,000 ha were located in Peru's mountainous region, planted solely with Eucalyptus globulus. Current rates of planting have fallen to about 10,000 ha per year since 1988 due to the lack of external financial resources and credit facilities to agriculturists. Most of the plantations have been developed by the state for the production of fuel as well as industrial wood.

There is no detailed inventory of plantations, but the national report submitted to the 10th World Forestry Congress commented that of the total plantations developed up to 1985 only about 50% have survived and of that, 50,000 ha have the potential for extraction as com-mercial wood. Extending this analogy to the total reported area (263,000 ha) of 1990, net total area to the end of 1990 is estimated at 132,000 ha and industrial plantations at 65,000 ha.


Almost all plantations in Venezuela have been established after 1960 on the state land with the main object of producing industrial wood. State owned societies, Compañia Nacional de Reforestación (CONARE), Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) and Corporación Forestal Guayamure (CFG) have the responsibility for establishing the plantations. Annual planting has gradually increased over time, and since 1987, about 30,000 ha is being planted annually. The total reported plantation area to the end of 1990 was 362,000 ha out of which about 350,000 ha was industrial and rest non-industrial. Venezuela has further plans to plant about 530,000 ha by 1997.

Most of the plantations in Venezuela are located in eastern coast, in savanna region and Pinus caribeae is the main species. No report is available about the inventory of plantations. Recently a new society, PROFORCA, has been formed in collaboration with CONARE and CVG to undertake the extraction and inventory of plantations.

Based on the investigation of sample plot data, an average of 10 m3/ha per year mean annual increment (ranging between 3 to 13 m3/ha per year) at 12 years rotation age is expected from the plantations.



Plantation forestry in India is about a century old. Large scale industrial plantations, however, started in late the 1950s. Total area planted up to 1972 was about 2.1 million ha. Plantation until 1979 remained confined to forest reserves mostly for industrial and partly for fuelwood and environmental conservation regions. The plantation boom occurred with the launching of social forestry (in principle similar to community forestry) projects in several states in successive years and several other afforestation projects as a part of a rural and wasteland (degraded) development programme.

Foreign donors played an important role by providing financial support to the social forestry projects. The annual rate of planting increased to about 1.0 million ha during 1980–85. Most of the plantations have since been established outside forest reserve in wastelands owned by the government/community or on private farmers' land. Incentives to the private planters are provided in form of free seedlings and technical guidance. With the reorganisation of the Environment and Forestry Ministry (at central government-level) and the creation of a National Wasteland Development Board in 1985 plantation forestry received further impetus. The annual rate of plantation increased to about 1.78 million ha during 1985–90. Total reported area to the end of 1989 was 17.1 million ha and by 1990 was 18.9 (estimated). Areas of all plantations established since 1980 has been determined by converting 2,000 seedlings to one hectare. About 50% of the plantations have been established in private lands since 1980.

Due to varied agro-climatic conditions about one hundred species are planted of which eucalypts are the most popular. But detailed information about the composition of species in plantations and the area under different classes of plantation, industrial or non-industrial, is lacking. Composition of species indicated in the table is based on a survey by IIPO (1989) and other references. Area under industrial plantations is tentatively assumed to be about 30%.

Detailed inventory of plantations nation wide has not been done. Three inventory results presented in the next section indicate a success rate of about 62.5%.


Most of the earlier plantations in Indonesia were of long rotation, high value timber species like teak, mahogany, rosewood and agathis confined to Java. Pinus merkusii was planted for resin production in Sumatra and Java. Large scale plantations, started in the 1970s, with the introduction of fast growing species like Calliandra spp., Paraserianthes falcataria, Eucalyptus deglupta, E. urophylla, Acacia spp. under regreening and reforestation programme for protection and fuelwood production with an annual rate of planting of about 200,000 ha in Java and Sumatra.

There is some ambiguity in the reported area of plantations. Until 1976 the total area planted was 2.0775 million ha (1977 report), which rose up until the end of 1980 to 4.01 million ha (1984 report) although the annual plantation rate was only 200,000 ha. Further plantation achievement during 1981–83 was only 0.17 million ha and in the next five years i.e. 1984–1988, about 4.3 million ha was added, giving an average annual rate of planting of 860,000 ha.

Of the total reported area of 8.467 million ha planted up to 1988, some 7 million ha were planted as part of rehabilitation programmes whose main objective was the rehabilitation of critical areas within watersheds under two sub-programmes; regreening and reforestation. An area of 5.814 million ha has been rehabilitated under regreening sub-programmes, all of which falls under private land where, besides planting fodder, fuelwood and other tree species, checkdams and terraces have been constructed. The survival rate has been reported to vary between 6% and 71%. 1.221 million ha rehabilitated under reforestation sub-programmes falls under forest land where trees are planted in conventional manner or in 20 meter wide corridors enclosing 25 ha blocks of unforested land. Areas of successfully established plantation have been estimated to be only 57% of which about 45% is Pinus merkusii.

More than 95% of the industrial plantation (1.43 million ha) is located in Java and managed by Perum Perhutani, a Government of Indonesia enterprise. A survey of the industrial plantations in Java was completed during 1990, the details of which are discussed in the next section. The net area of industrial plantation in Java is only 848,381 ha, of which teak constitutes 594,110 ha and non-teak 254,271 ha. In another inventory of 1,221,814 ha of plantations established up to 1988 under the reforestation programme, only 695,270 ha, i.e. 57%, have been found to be successful.


In 1960 total forest plantation in Thailand reached about 8,500 ha of which 70% were planted with Tectona grandis under taungya system. Plantation activity has gradually expanded since 1961. The agencies involved in plantation programmes are three divisions of the Royal Department of Forestry (RDF) (Silviculture, Water management and Forest and Land Management), Concessionaires (Forest Industry Organisation, Thai Plywood and other private companies) and Private sector including village woodlots and voluntary agencies. Average annual plantation reached a record high, about 58,000 ha, during 1977–81. Teak remained the dominant species in the RDF plantations, especially under silviculture division. Other species common in plantations are Pinus spp., Eucalyptus spp., Acacia auriculiformis, Gmelina arborea, Melia azaderach and Casuarina spp.

As per Forestry Statistics of Royal Forest Department, Thailand no. 2532, (1989), total plantation by RDF and Concessionaries until 1989 was 697,000 ha of which about 75% was planted by the RDF. But the statistics on plantation area are incomplete. No summarised information exists on plantation either by species or by use (industrial or non-industrial). Private plantations and woodlots, reported to have been widely established, have not been included in the national report. There is no inventory/survey report or record of survival rate of plantations to assess existing area of actual plantations. Total plantation to the end of 1990 presented in the time series table has been estimated by a consultant and includes the area of private plantations.


Forest plantation in Vietnam gained momentum under a popular plantation and afforestation campaign and people's participation in the early 1960s. During the 20 years from 1960 to 79 about 2.631 billion scattered trees were planted around villages in homesteads, along farm boundaries and shelter belts, mostly with Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus spp., Melia azadirach, Bambusa and a good proportion of mature trees were simultaneously harvested. The area of “scattered plantation” is determined by converting 2000 seedling into l ha. More than 200,000 ha have been planted annually during 1986–88 in scattered plantation form.

There is no clear and consistent report about the total area of existing plantation for any given reference year. Concentrated planting by the forestry sector for industrial purposes up to 1979 was 565,000 ha which increased to 939,000 ha by 1989. Pinus merkusii, P. massoniana and P. kesiya constituted about 35% of total planted area during 1975–85. Styrax tonkinensis, Mangletia glauca and Eucalyptus spp. are other popular species for industrial plantation.

National inventory of industrial plantations carried out by the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI) Vietnam in collaboration with Sweden during 1986–87 found 583,347 ha of existing plantations against about 774,000 ha reported. Inventory of scattered plantations which is reported to occupy about 50% of total area has not been carried out. The net area estimation for the whole country is, therefore, difficult.


The plantation situation of the six developing countries of non-tropical zone described below constitute about 42 million ha of total plantation areas to the end of 1990 with current annual planting rates of about 1.44 million ha. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are other developing countries (not presented below) where forestry plantations occupy quite sizable areas. As per their country reports prepared for 10th World Forestry Congress 1991, Morocco has 526,000 ha, Tunisia 312,000 ha and Algeria 150,000 ha.


Argentina has about 75% of total land area in arid and semiarid regions. Of about 36 million ha of forest land (15% of country's total land area), forest plantations occupy about 0.8 million ha by the end of 1990, most of which are privately owned. The government fiscal incentive scheme, launched in 1974, has been playing an important role in the establishment of successful plantations. Annual rate of plantation during 1990 has been estimated at 25,000 ha. Plantations contributed to about 60% of the total industrial wood production in 1986 which is likely to increase as more plantations reach maturity.

Pines (48%), eucalypts (29%) and willows (19%) constitute most of the plantations. Among pines, Pinus elliottii and P. taeda are most extensive. E. viminalis, E. grandis and E. tereticornis are the main eucalypts. Salix spp. and Populus spp. have been planted mostly in irrigation zones.

Plantations characteristics

Main speciesArea
(1,000 ha)
P. elliottii 20–3025.0
P. taeda and other pines391.2020–3025.0
E. viminalis 8–1030.0
E. grandis and other eucalypts236.358–1030.0
Salix alba and other willows154.841024.0


(1) Instituto Forestal Nacional, Republica Argentina, report to Comisión Forestal para America Latina y el Caribe 14th session (1982), 17th session (1991).

(2) INFONA (1988): Argentina and its forests.


Chile has the largest plantation area under radiata pine in the world. Forestry plantations established under tax incentive schemes began on a modest scale about sixty years ago. Planting continued at a rate of about 8,000 ha annually during the mid 1960s increasing to an average of 30,000 ha annually until the early 1970s. New legislation introduced in 1974 provided for direct subsidies of 75% of the cost of plantation establishment for private growers. Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) also boasted plantation on its own land to provide employment. This resulted in the increase of the annual plantation rate to more than 65,000 ha and to 80,000 ha in 1990. Total reported plantations established up to the end of 1990 is 1.45 million ha, out of which about 1.25 million ha (87%) is Pinus radiata and about 180,000 ha eucalypts mainly E. globulus. About 30% of these plantations were established by government.

CONAF plantations have now been mostly sold to private companies and individuals. Thus, all plantations are privately owned: about 60% by large and medium size companies owning each at least 10,000 ha plantations and rest by small owners with 50–150 ha holdings.

Most of the industrial wood, about 12.0 million m3 per year, is produced from plantations. Chile has about 7.0 million ha of commercial forests and another 13.0 million ha under national parks and forest reserves. About 65% of Chile's wood produced on plantations is exported contributing to less than one percent of the world trade in forest products and earning about 10% of the countries total foreign exchange.

Plantation characteristics

Main speciesArea (000ha) 1990Rotation (years)Av.M.A.I (m3/ha/yr.)
Pinus radiata1,25025–3024.0
Eucalyptus globulus1808–1018–30


(1) La situación forestal Chilena For Comisión Forestal para America Latina y et Caribe 13th session (1980), 14th session (1983), 15th session (1986) & 17th session (1991)

(2) The World Bank (1986). Chile Forest Industry Sub-sector study.


China has an impressive forest plantations record. Over a period of about forty years the country's forest cover has increased by 3.8% through plantations; from 9.2% to 12.98% in 1989. Total plantation area assessed by the second national forest inventory carried out during 1977–81 was 22.28 million hectares. The third national forest inventory carried out during 1984–88 released the statistics of 31.01 million hectares of established plantations. Increase in plantation area during a seven year period (assuming 1979 and 1986 as reference years for 2nd and 3rd inventory respectively) is from an average annual plantation rate of 8.82 million ha to 1.25 million ha. Although Guofang (1991) has reported annual planting during 1989 to be 5 million ha (determined on the basis of number of seedlings) but considering the latest annual average rate of 1.25 million ha, total area planted to the end 1990 is estimated as 36 million ha.

Because of varied agro-climatic conditions more than 200 tree species are used in plantation forestry, of which 40 tree species are used on a relatively large scale. Conifers constitute about 68% of the industrial plantations (18.74 million ha), of which Cunninghamia lanceolata (24%), Pinus massoniana (18%) Larix spp. (8%), and Pinus tabulaeformis(6.5%) are the main species. Among the broadleaves Populus spp. occupy about 43% of the industrial plantations. On the basis of the 1984–88 inventory broad classification Table is as follows.

Species composition in plantation

Species groupArea 1000 ha
Pines 5 598
Other conifers 7 222
Populus spp. 2 587
Eucalypts    287
Other broadleaves 3 049
Total18 743
Oil bearing sp. 6 205
Others 2 517
(Phyllostachys sp.) 2 526
(other bamboos) 1 020


(1) Guofang Shen, 1991. Choice of species in China's Plantation Forestry paper submitted to 10th World Forestry Congress, 1991.

(2) Ministry of Forestry, Peoples Republic of China (1991). New Development of forestry in China, Country Report presented to the 10th World Forestry Congress.

Republic of Korea

About 65% of the total land area of Korea is covered with forests, 72% of which is private, 20% national and 8% public. Reforestation is concentrated on the establishment of large scale economic (industrial) forests. There is some ambiguity about the total area of plantation as reported by the country at different times. By 1976, 2.47 million ha had been planted, out of which 1.23 million ha were conifers, 225,000 ha fast growing poplars and 1.011 million ha other hardwoods (1977 report). Annual planting rate during 1966–76 was about 160,000 ha. The rate of planting gradually declined during 1981–83 from 153,000 ha in 1981 to 94,000 in 1983. In total 383,000 ha were planted in three years consisting of 44% popular and 56% other species mostly for timber production (1984 report). Assuming 160,000 ha as the annual plantation rate as was planned during 1977–80, total area planted to the end of 1983 would have been 3,49 million ha. But as per last report (1991) the total area planted up to the end of 1985 was only 1.75 million ha and by 1989, 1.95 million ha. The current annual planting rate has again declined to 50,000 ha. Treating the last report as most authentic, the total area planted to the end of 1990 is estimated about 2.0 million ha. Since most of the plantations, approximately 90%, are on private land, the government provides 74% subsidy to small scale private forests and loans to others at very low (3%) interest rates over long repayment periods.


National Progress Reports on Forestry, Republic of Korea, submitted to Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission 10th session (1977), 12th session (1984) and to 10th World Forestry Congress, 1991.

Republic of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa has very little natural forest area, (only 0.3 million ha) most of which has been declared protected areas. Forestry plantations are, therefore, the only source of industrial wood. Total established plantations by 1989/90 have been reported as 1.333 million ha, 73% of which is privately owned and the rest belong to the state. Pines and eucalypts are the two main species groups constituting about 90% of the total plantation areas. Under pines, the main species are P. patula and P. elliottii, and to some extent P. taeda and P. radiata. Eucalyptus grandis is the main species among eucalypts. Acacia mearnsii (wattle) has been planted for bark production for the tanning industry. Areas of main species and their growth rates are presented in the table below.

Plantation characteristics

SpeciesPlantation areas
in 1000 ha
Rotation in yearsAv.MAI

The increase in plantation area during the last 10 years is 177,000 ha. The proportion of eucalypts has also increased from 31% to 40%. The current annual planting rate is about 31,000 ha. The survival rate of these plantations is quite high, almost one hundred percent, but fire is a considerable hazard and causes a great deal of damage.

The management of the plantations is highly professional and produces about 15 million m3 of round wood annually.

During 1988/89 and 1989/90 18.5 and 18.0 million m3 were produced with an average yield of 15 m3/ha per year.


(1) South African Forestry Facts, August 1991 distributed to 10th World Forestry Congress.

(2) Personal communication from the Dy. Director General Forestry, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Rep. of South Africa.

(3) Jakko Pöyry (1986), Fast Growing Plantations


Uruguay is one of the privileged countries having a high percentage (>85%) of the territorial land productive for growing crops and raising livestock. Only 5% of the territory is covered with forest of which 77% is natural forest and categorised as low quality and the rest (180,000 ha in 1985) consists of plantations. The annual planting rate during 1975–85 was about 2,000 ha and estimated total plantation area by the end of 1990 is 208,000 ha. More than 80% of the plantations are owned by about 50,000 private individuals with an average holding of 3.4 ha. The fiscal incentive to establish privately grown plantations was withdrawn in 1978. Most of the plantations are non-industrial for fuel wood and protective purposes. Only 30,000 ha have been estimated to have been established as industrial plantations. Eucalypts (75%) and pines (15%) constitute most of the plantations, poplar and willow (Salix alba) both broadleaves, are planted to a limited extent.

Plantation characteristics

Main speciesArea(1990)
(1,000 ha)
E. tereticornis160.08–1030.0
E. grandis
E. saligna
E. globulus
P. radiata30.025–3022.0
P. elliottii
P. taeda

(Remark: Area, Rotation and MAI has been estimated on the basis of given inf.)


Anon, 1990 Basic Information For Forestry Investment In Uruguay, MGAP Montevideo, Uruguay


Forestry plantations in the developed/industrialised countries are quite different from most of the developing countries. Except for Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and UK where exotics (eucalypts and/or pines) dominate the plantations, in all other cases, species indigenous to the countries are used mostly in the plantations. The results of the plantations in these countries are often not much different from the results of active natural regeneration. After about 20% of the rotation period, the difference between the planted and naturally regenerated forests almost disappears and often it becomes difficult to assess the actual area under forest plantations. Further, the ownership of the plantations in developed countries mainly rests with private companies or individuals and very little with the state, a different situation to many developing countries except for Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Rep. of Korea and Rep. of South Africa.


Forest plantation area in Australia is estimated at about 965,000 ha by the end of 1990 which accounts for 2.5% of the total area of the native forests and 8.5% of the productive managed forests. The majority of the plantations are in the eastern states of the country, i.e. New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. Ownership of Australia's plantation forests is 70% public (government) and the remainder private. A tentative estimate for the current annual planting rate is about 30,000 ha. Booth (1984) has described the composition of the species in Australian plantation forests planted up to 1983. Of the total plantation of 817,521 ha to date were under Pinus radiata (66.7%), P. elliottii (12.6%), P.pinaster (3.8%) and Araucaria sp. (5.5%) constituting most of the plantation area. Among broadleaves mainly eucalypts have been planted. Lavery (1990) has quoted Pinus radiata plantation area in Australia (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1990) up to March 1989 as 669,000 ha.

Total plantation area in successive years in Australia

Main speciesArea (1989)
(1,000 ha)
Pinus radiata66930–4018.0
Araucaria sp.  5240–5016.0


(1) National Progress Report of Forestry to Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission 9th session (1973), 11th session (1981), 12th session (1985), 13th session (1987) and to 13th Commonwealth Forestry Congress (1989).

(2) Booth, T.H. (1984) Major Plantations in Australia: their location, species composition and size, Australian Forestry 47(3).

(3) Lavery, P.B. (1990) Radiata plantation statistics NEFD and notes on Chilean, Australian and other sources descriptions, N.Z. Forestry


Canada is custodian of 10% of the world's forests. Of the 453 million ha of forest land 233 million ha is productive, and is mostly government owned. Historically, Canada's productive forests were cut and left to regenerate naturally. The growth of reforestation prior to 1965 was slow from comparisons of annually harvested area. The total area planted by 1965 was only 749,000 ha (3). The record of plantation establishment between 1965 and 1975 is not available. Planting rates increased from 1975 from 125,000 ha per year, gradually rising to 413,000 ha in 1988 with a total plantation area of 2.974 million ha established over 14 years. The percentage of annual planting on previously harvested areas had increased from about 25% in 1975 to 50% in 1988 in order to encourage regeneration. Estimated area of plantations to the end of 1990 is about 5.023 million ha assuming 500,000 ha were established during 1965–75 and annual planting of 400,000 ha during 1989–90. Most of the plantations (90%) are under the government control. White spruce (Picea giauca) is the most commonly planted species in Canada (35%), followed by Black spruce (21.8%), and Jack pine (12.6%). Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is the fourth most planted species in Canada but is prominent only in British Columbia and Alberta. Since most Canadian plantations are young, mean annual increments of plantations are not known. The rotations of the extensively planted species on average sites have been tentatively fixed between 50 and 60 years.


(1) The state of Forestry in Canada, 1990 Report to Parliament

(2) Kuhnke, D.H. 1989; Silviculture statistics of Canada: an 11 year summary Information Report NOR-X.301, Northern Forestry Centre, Canada

(3) Progress Report 1980–84 on Canada prepared by Canadian Forest Service for the 12th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, 1985.


Forest plantation in Japan covered 10.22 million ha until the end of 1985 which accounted for 40% of the total forest area. About 77% of plantations have been established on private land and rest on government land. Private plantations are owned by individuals, companies, temples and shrines. The scale of ownership by individuals is very small and mostly less than five ha.

Reforestation of the excessively cut over area due to World War II was completed by 1956 and efforts since then have been to convert natural broadleaved forests to artificial coniferous ones. However, the annual planted area has been decreasing over the past several years reflecting the lack of enthusiasm among forestry owners due to increasing production cost coupled with weak timber prices and scarcity of work force. The annually planted area in 1987 was 83,000 ha, i.e. one fifth of the peak year, 1954. Total forest plantation estimated at the end of 1990 was 10.67 million ha. Cryptomeria japonica (46%), Chamaecyparis obtusa (21%), Pinus densiflora and P. thunbergii (13.5%) and Larix leptolepis (12%) constitute the main species in the plantations

Plantation characteristics

Main species1985 Area
(1000 ha)
Cryptomeria japonica
Chamaecyparis obtusa


(1) Forestry in Japan, submitted to 17th IUFRO World Congress, 1981, Kyoto, Japan, by Forestry Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

(2) National Progress Reports on Forestry in Japan for Asia-Pacific Forestry Commissions, 11th session (1981), 13th session and 14th session (1989).

New Zealand

New Zealand has achieved major success in plantation forestry. Early recognition of radiata pine as a very flexible species capable of growing on a wide range of sites and an outstanding volume producer was the main factor, coupled with incentives to encourage planting by the private sector. Considering the depletion of the natural forests, planting was undertaken as early as 1920 and over 300,000 ha was planted until 1935 mostly with radiata pine. Between 1936 and 1960 only 45,000 ha of new land was planted due to uncertain marketing of the wood produced.

A planting boom again occurred after the grant of loans, tax and export incentives in the private sector. Plantation forestry contributed about 93% of the total industrial wood production (9.3 million m3) in 1988. The total area under plantation by 1988 was reported as 1.214 million ha which accounts for about 20% of native forests (6.2 million ha). Plantation ownership is approximately 54% public and the rest private.

The average annual planting rate during 1975–85 was 40,000 ha, but due to recent changes in the government's economic policy, a reduction in tax benefits to private forestry growers has resulted in the decrease of new plantations to less than 10,000 ha in 1990 (Hunter, 1991). The estimated area under plantation up to the end of 1990 is about 1.24 million ha.

Plantation characteristics

Main speciesArea
(1,000 ha)
Pinus radiata
Douglus fir


(1) Progress Reports to Asia Pacific Forestry Commission, 11th session (1981), and 13th session (1987).

(2) Hunter, I.R. 1991 Reforestation in New Zealand, Proceedings conference US EPA

United States of America

There is no reliable and accurate information about the existing area of forest plantations in the United States (Personal communication). According to NAPAP, intensive plantations occupy about 8% (24 million ha) of the U.S. forest lands (296 million ha). As per USDA (1991), total accumulated area of tree planting in the United States prior to 1928 until 1990 is about 31.85 million ha of which plantations between 0 and 30 years of age account for 24.4 million ha. The progress on tree planting in various decades is shown below.

Besides failure and damage, one can assume that the mature plantations, say older than 30–40 years, may also have been harvested. Hughes (1991) states that by 1984, harvest from pine plantations in the south was 20.4 million m3. The area of existing plantations, therefore, must be less. The rate of planting has steadily increased over the years. Annual tree planting during the last nine years is of the order of 1 million ha and planting during 1990 was about 1.15 million ha, approximately 83% of which was owned privately. Most of the plantations have been created in the southern states. Of the total plantation establishment during 1990, about 71% were established in the south and 23% in the west.

Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) is the most favoured and accounts for about 60% of all the bare root seedlings planted in the United States (Hughes, 1991). Until 1985 the total area of loblolly pine plantation in the south was about 8.5 million ha, 94% of which was under private ownership (Moulton et al, 1991). Plantation growth rates, mainly of loblolly pine in the south were modest. The growth rates of plantations established by private forest industries for medium sites is 7 m3/ha per year, compared to 4.6 m3/ha per year for private non-industrial plantations. The most intensively managed plantations of private companies have an average growth rate in the range of 10 to 14 m3/ha per year on a 25–30 years cutting cycle.


(1) NAPAP; Interim assessment The Causes and Effects of Acidic Deposition Volume IV, The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Programme.

(2) USDA (1991); Tree Planting in the United States-1990, USDA Forest Service, Cooperative Forestry.

(3) Hughes, J. H. (1991); A Brief History of Forest Management in the American South: Implication for large scale Reforestation to Slow Global Warming, Proceedings of International Workshop on Large Scale Reforestation, US EPA.

(4) Moulton, R. J. et al (1991); Impacts of Conservation Forest Programme Tree Planting on Biological Diversity, Presented at the 1991 annual meeting of the Southern Forest Economists.


In 1987 a total volume of 389 million m3 was harvested in the undivided USSR, a figure which has changed little over more than 25 years (369 million m3 in 1960). The total area under forest cover is about 811 million ha (22% of the world forest), of which 545.5 million ha are categorised as potential forests for commercial utilisation. The major part of forest resource is situated in Russia. In order to improve the qualitative and quantitative structure of this forest resource, particularly the areas subjected to commercial exploitation, about 2 million ha have been annually regenerated between 1970 and 1987, out of which plantations constituted 42 to 47% or 0.9 to 1 million ha annually, Burdin (1991). Progress of forest plantations prior to 1970 seems to be poor. Total planted area until 1988 was 21.877 million ha of which pines constituted about 52%, spruce 24%, oak 6% and cedar 1% (2). Assuming the 1987 planting rate is valid up to 1990, then the total area of forest plantations in undivided USSR to the end of 1990 can be estimated at 23.8 million ha, all state owned.


(1) Burdin, A. B. (1991); Trends and the Prospects in the Forest Sector of the USSR: a view from inside, Unasylva 165, Vol.4.

(2) Information on Forest Plantations, USSR, P 790.

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