High tops of the Carpathian Mountains and location of our tree planting in Romania project

Tree Planting in Romania

High tops of the Carpathian Mountains and location of our tree planting in Romania project

Tree Planting in Romania

  • The Romanian Carpathian Mountains are the wildest mountain range in Europe. Sadly, following the forest restitution in 2005, massive clear-cuts have destroyed thousands of hectares in these mountains. In this article, we look at how we do our tree planting in Romania and how it can help restore these clear felled areas.

1. Rebuilding the Forest Floor

2. How We Plant

3. Forest Conservation and Management

  • The Romanian Carpathian Mountains are the wildest mountain range in Europe. Sadly, following the forest restitution in 2005, massive clear-cuts have destroyed thousands of hectares in these mountains. In this article, we look at how we do our tree planting in Romania and how it can help restore these clear felled areas.
  •  

1. Rebuilding the Forest Floor

2. How We Plant

3. Forest Conservation and Management

Rebuilding the Forest Floor

  • The first stage of our tree planting in Romania is to rebuild the forest floor by filling in the eroded tractor/skidding tracks, on which the timber had been dragged down the mountainside. If the tracks are left uncovered, the soil is devastatingly eroded as snow melt and rain water runoff takes it down the mountain. With the help of a small excavator the tracks are filled with leftover timber material from the 2005 – 2010 cuttings and covered with a topsoil. Once covered 1.5 metre saplings of beech, fir, sycamore, rowan and spruce at higher altitudes, are planted on the newly established top soil to achieve a natural forest composition.

An excavator prepares the land for tree planting in Romania

Rebuilding the Forest Floor

  • The first stage of our tree planting in Romania is to rebuild the forest floor by filling in the eroded tractor/skidding tracks, on which the timber had been dragged down the mountainside. If the tracks are left uncovered, the soil is devastatingly eroded as snow melt and rain water runoff takes it down the mountain. With the help of a small excavator the tracks are filled with leftover timber material from the 2005 – 2010 cuttings and covered with a topsoil. Once covered 1.5 metre saplings of beech, fir, sycamore, rowan and spruce at higher altitudes, are planted on the newly established top soil to achieve a natural forest composition.
  •  
An excavator prepares the land for tree planting in Romania

How We Plant

Many of the clear-felled areas are in isolated locations and at altitudes of between 750m and 1500m. As such, we use 4x4 vehicles to get as close to an area as possible and then do last stretch on foot (30 – 45minute), with each member of the planting team taking a hoe, pick axe and bucket of 50 trees. Though what might seem rudimentary, it is very effective, with 500 – 600 trees planted in a day. Emphasis has been given to the involvement and employment of local people for planting. Tree planting in Romania takes place between September and November before the winter snowfall, and in spring from March to early May.

The team of tree planters stand in a line with their shovels and buckets of saplings, at our project in Romania
The team of tree planters stand in a line with their shovels and buckets of saplings, at our project in Romania

How We Plant

Many of the clear-felled areas are in isolated locations and at altitudes of between 750m and 1500m. As such, we use 4x4 vehicles to get as close to an area as possible and then do last stretch on foot (30 – 45minute), with each member of the planting team taking a hoe, pick axe and bucket of 50 trees. Though what might seem rudimentary, it is very effective, with 500 – 600 trees planted in a day. Emphasis has been given to the involvement and employment of local people for planting. Tree planting in Romania takes place between September and November before the winter snowfall, and in spring from March to early May.

Forest Conservation and Management

From late May to end of August when it’s too hot to tree plant, there are other less attractive yet equally as important tasks to be done. The high grasses that grow around the planted saplings, are cut back to avoid suffocation and promote growth. Weeding in the tree nurseries is carried out through the summer with a local team of women. Mapping and planning future tree planting interventions and monitoring the results and survival rates of previous efforts. Results from last year’s planting efforts were excellent with more than 80% of the saplings doing well despite it having been a particularly dry spring and summer.

The team of local women clear the weeds that surround the young saplings in the nursery at our tree planting project in Romania

Forest Conservation and Management

From late May to end of August when it’s too hot to tree plant, there are other less attractive yet equally as important tasks to be done. The high grasses that grow around the planted saplings, are cut back to avoid suffocation and promote growth. Weeding in the tree nurseries is carried out through the summer with a local team of women. Mapping and planning future tree planting interventions and monitoring the results and survival rates of previous efforts. Results from last year’s planting efforts were excellent with more than 80% of the saplings doing well despite it having been a particularly dry spring and summer.

The team of local women clear the weeds that surround the young saplings in the nursery at our tree planting project in Romania