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creation of forest edges, first trial with cuttings

The forest edge plays a special role in the dynamics of the forest.  It has a role of stabilization, intermediate area between the open and closed environments. It is fully participating to increase biodiversity of woods and forests of our region.

The Life Project's objectives are to restore 40 km, and to create 30 km from edges, biotope along forest corridors associated with the high voltage grid.

To do this, various methods exist; planting, cuttings, seedlings of forest species, enrichment, promote existing seed-bank...

Since the project began, some techniques are being tested; it will be described through the news and as soon as there are implemented.

The first newsletter dealt with the fruit harvest and management of seeds, it will concern the problem of forest tree cuttings.
Four species are currently referred mainly because of their ease for cutting : hazel, willow atria and the two elders, black and red.

Two periods of work were performed, and this, depending on the species concerned.
In November 2011, the team produced several thousand cuttings of willow and hazel atria. Stems about 40 cm long and the minimum size of a pencil. The cuttings were installed immediately, creating and enriching the edge soon after their production.

A first verification visit in March this year has established that the force of the stems is good. Still green, they are in a good shape and we hope their vitality recovery this spring.

Well mastered, the cuttings from fall period gave way to a trial for this spring for the use of cuttings of hazel and elder. Sectioned in the same way as the hazel, elder of the fragments must be collected from branches of more than a year, and have minimum 2 times 2 buds. Two buds are required to be outdoors during the installation of cuttings.

About 1000 cuttings were produced in 2 h by a team of four people. These cuttings were installed in three enclosures posed by DNF in a corridor HT High Ardenne.

The structure of the edge and the distribution of species was made on basis of their height at maturity. At a distance from 20 to 25 metre from the line, hazels are installed near the forest. From 15 to 20 m, the elderberry is positioned, and from 10 to 15 m line, we are finalizing with the red elderberry. Using a crowbar is required for the installation and by teams of two people.

The first person makes a hole deep enough, the second installs the cutting cup and the substrate to ensure close contact. Fences will protect cuttings from game species, and a work of clearing and removing small birch will limit light and space competition during the recovery.

We secretly wish the spring to not be too dry to facilitate the success of our work. Monitoring will be conducted during this year's growth to assess times of different species and their vitality. These observations will follow and will be an upcoming news on the site.
See you as soon as the cutting are developped !