State foresters evaluate economic and ecological value of each tree at four demonstration sites

Foresters from the enterprise Forests of the Czech Republic teach their colleagues to assess trees from both economic and ecological points of view, for the time being at four one-hectare plots. This method called Marteloscope is more and more used in common managed forests. The approach is also appreciated by ecologists.

One year ago foresters of the Forests of the Czech Republic selected four one-hectare plots with the four most important forest tree species – spruce, pine, beech and oak. Representatives of the forest districts from Šumava Mountains and of Slovak and Bavarian state forests recently tested the Marteloscop method in Železná Ruda.

For the next year it is planned to continue not only in Železná Ruda, but also at the Křivoklát forest district, where the demonstration site is dominated by beech and at the Plasy forest district with pine and oak demonstration sites. “It is important that each forester ordinarily uses this method when marking trees for felling. He must consider whether a concrete tree is worth cutting, whether its ecological value is not higher than a profit by selling it,” emphasized Václav Lidický, Director for Forestry Production, Forests of the Czech Republic. The method has been developed by the European Forest Institute. There are 33 established demonstration sites in nine European countries. “We apply the Marteloscope method for trees with a low economic value. We retain ten ecologically valuable trees per each hectare of forest”, said Ulrich Mergner, director of the forestry enterprise in Ebrach, Germany.

Based on experience from European conditions, it is possible to accommodate both economic and ecological point of view. However, as Professor Josef Fanta, Czech forest ecologist of the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, adds, no method is the only correct or a dogma. “Climate change forces us to think about a new approach to and point of view on forest management. Inspiration by the Nordic forestry belongs to the past; we have to turn to Switzerland, Slovenia or German Baden-Württemberg. The Marteloscope method used by forests of the Czech Republic I have to appraise, it is a signal of understanding of natural changes”, he stated.

With this project, the Czech Republic has actively contributed to the European Network INTEGRATE, supported by the European Forest Institute.