Why do they plant up to 5.000 trees per hectar?

The afforestation standards in Moldova, as well as in Romania, presuppose planting of up to 5.000 trees per hectar (based on planting schemes of 2x1m, for example).

It seemed so weird to us for quite some time. Then, we realized there are some sensible reasons to do it this way. When you plant more trees per hectar, they reach the self-shading and self-protection stage more quickly, meaning less care is needed of the foresters. In addition, a part of the saplings do not take root or otherwise do not survive the first years, so that the initial number is reduced. And you do not have to plant something additionally, because there is still enough trees. Besides, the initially straight rows turn into a more natural, irregular patterns. In a way, the natural situation is replicated, where scattered seeds result in hundreds of seedlings per square meter; and only few of them survive. Sounds cruel, but the nature doesn’t err – ever.

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In USA, they plant around 1.200-1.500 trees per hectar. This requires caring about them more attentively and for more years, as you would care about an orchard. So, if you plant more rarely, you need more capacities, resources and, above all, dedication.

The key point is, however, the goal of afforestation. If those who plant are most interested in production of large quantities of qualitative wood (the goal most often pursued by our foresters), then it is rational to plant more densel. In such cases usually no more than two alternated species of trees are used. On the other hand, if the goal is true – protection and stimulation of biodiversity, then more elaborate planning is required. It includes planting more rarely, with clearings, in biogroups, larger variety, etc. And, of course, then you should evade robinias and other non-authentic and invasive species.

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For our afforestation actions, we try to find the optimum solution. We plant around 1.500 trees per hectar, combined with various bushes that serve to improve the soil and protect the saplings until they become stronger. Still, it is lots of work to care about them, so you are always welcome to come and lend a hand.

Planting trees, in and of itself, doesn’t mean anything. The real work only begins after the planting event.

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