Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bamboo planting project at Yagirala Forest, Sri Lanka

Bamboo planting project at Yagirala Forest Reserve by a Sri Jayewardenepura University student

Savindi Caldera, a second year student in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka has launched a bamboo planting project inside the Yagirala Forest Reserve ( in the wet zone of Sri Lanka with her fellow mates.

The aims and objectives of this project are to inform, educate, and demonstrate how bamboo can reduce the environmental impacts of global climate change, to balance the carbon foot print in the Kalutara area and to encourage and motivate the community to mitigate the effects of climate change.

She started this project after having a training in India under a British Council sponsorship. In fact, she represented Sri Lanka. This project is collaborated with the International Climate Change Championship Pogramme. The objective of her project is to enrich the river banks and stream banks by planting 200 bamboo seedlings. It is expected that those plants will significantly contribute to the aesthetic value and the biodiversity of the area.

Savindi has selected bamboo for this project due to several reasons. There is a great advantage of bamboo as it has an enormous growth rate. It sequesters 4 times more carbon dioxide than hardwood and releases 35% more oxygen than equivalent stands of trees. Further, bamboo does not require any fertilisers.

The net-like root system of bamboo effectively protects watersheds by stitching the soil together along fragile riverbanks, deforested areas, and in places prone to earthquakes and mud slides. A wide-spreading root system, uniquely shaped leaves, and dense litter on the forest floor also greatly reduces rain runoff, preventing massive soil erosion and effectively keeping twice as much water, in the watershed.

Savindi believes that planting bamboo trees is an effective implementation to balance the carbon footprint because it sequesters 4 times more carbon dioxide than hardwood. She hopes to further use her knowledge and experience gathered by following the subject "Forestry and Environmental Science" at the degree level to carry out this project successfully.

Savindi (5th from the left at the front row) and her fellow mates at the project site

Monday, June 7, 2010

A management plan for Albizia odorotissima

A management plan for Albizia odorotissima

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Niranjan Kannangara

Albizia odorotissma is a medium sized tree highly valued for shade and soil improvement. It is a multipurpose woody legume which obtains a height of 22-26 m and diameter of 120-150 cm. On good sites five-year-old trees can be 5 m in height and 14 cm in diameter. A mean annual diameter increment of 1.3 cm. Albizia odoratissimatolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall. In its natural range the maximum shade temperature varies from 37°-50°C and the minimum from 0°-15°C. Normal rainfall varies from 650-3000 mm.

It is used as a valuble timber for furniture making, as a fuel wood, and fodder for cattle grazing. The species is used in a plantation located in Puttalam with an extent of 50ha. 625 trees are planted in 1 ha and entire land is utilized as batch wise. After demarcating, fencing and clearing is done before the seedlings are planted. In the initial year 1 ha plot is planted with 625 seedlings. Although the natural rotation age is 40 yrs we are expecting to harvest within 25 yrs by providing more favorable conditions. This species is more resistant for pest and Diseases. Weeding is done properly. After the pruning stage there will be 3 thinnings and then the final harvest. A net profit of 51 million is expected.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Establishment and maintenance plan for Michelia champaca

Establishment and maintenance plan for Michelia champaca

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Upamali Perera

The management plan says what the user has to do to achieve objectives or management the forest. Plan makes policies real. It includes all activities related to plantation management. It means from land preparation to final harvest. It includes land preparation, nursery establishment, planting, weeding, watering, fertilizer, protection, pruning, thinning and finally the final harvest.

Michelia champaca has been wide spread all over tropical Asia. In Sri Lanka, it is found in wet and intermediate zones (village gardens in Kandy, Kegalle and Mirigama etc). It is a large evergreen tree with long cylindrical bole with 1.8 m in trunk diameter. The Bark is light grey, smooth about 1.27cm thick. Height is 14m-20m. Required Rainfall varies from 2250 – 5000 mm. It performs well in an altitude of 500 -1500m above msl. It is well suited for sandy loam soil and also it occurs on moist deep, well drained, good quality soil. The tree is a light demander and coppices well up to a fair size and it does not produce root sucker. It provides many products and services.

The hypothetical company created was Luxury plantations (PVT) Ltd. Vision of the company is to be a helping hand in saving our rain forests. Mission of the company is to meet future demand for timber in Sri Lanka by using sustainable forest management. The selected area to establish the plantation is Kegalle with a land of 50 ha. A barren land privately owned is cleared using machinery. Leveling is done. In the land, about 0.8 hectares of nursery area is established. Protection measures are taken like fencing the area with barbed wire. Site preparation will be done by ploughing and hoeing the land. It should have water as a perennial source to ensure adequate supply in hot weather and to reduce costs. Seeds are bought from the homegardens of Kegalle and Kandy areas. Seeds should be cleaned and dried in the shade. Nursery bed size is 1 meter wide, 15 cms high, 10 meters long or as long as the topography would allow. The nursery should be separated by a pathway of 30 cms, so that the beds can be weeded by standing on the pathway. Seed should be sown within two weeks of collection as it loses its viability very rapidly. Planting out nearly one year old seedlings at the break of the monsoon of the following year is done. Spacing is 1.8m x 1.8m. The first thinning in well-stocked plantations will normally be required in the 5th year. Trees are subject to the attacks by Urostylis punctigera, the champ bug, occurs as a pest, causing appreciable damage in pure plantations. Young plantations should be frequently inspected; Spacing with a suitable mixture, such as nicotine sulphate 1 part and soap 1.8 kg in 450 liters of water is helpful. Harvesting method is clear-cut system.

Establishment and maintenance plan for Dipterocarpus zeylanicus plantation

Establishment and maintenance plan for Dipterocarpus zeylanicus plantation

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Deshika Kariyakarawana

Dipterocarpus zeylanicus, commonly known as “Hora” in Sinhala is endemic to Sri Lanka. It is a large tree attaining a height of 40m and a girth of 4m with a dense hemispherical crown. This is an important and common species in the low land wet evergreen forest where it occurs generally scattered below 1000m altitude. In river banks and well-drained alluvium, the species grows often vigorously. In wet evergreen forests which is generally storied, the top canopy consists essentially of dipterocarps.

The species regenerates freely and the seedlings establish themselves without much difficulty. Flowering is in January to February and fruiting is during April to May. Sapwood is pinkish white and heart wood is dark reddish brown. Strong hard wood timber comes under class I. After preservative treatments it can be used for railway sleepers, rafters, electric posts, beams, joists, heavy carpentry work and eminently suitable for underwater and marine work. Bark contains oleo resins.

Management objective of the plantation company is to optimise the land utilization by growing commercially viable and environmentally sustainable trees to invest at present to make profit after 35 years.

Plants will be produced in an own nursery with a six months nursery period. Seeds can be bought by villagers. Initially 988 trees per hectare will be established in the land of 50 hectare with the spacing of 2.5m×2.5m. Fertilizing will be done once per year until the 10th year and weeding will be done for all 35 years. Two thinning operations are scheduled at 10th year and 25th year. Pest or disease attacks are not recorded for the species recently in Sri Lanka but termites can be a problem. Watering will be done using drip irrigation using water from the river at the boundary of the plantation nursery.

After felling the trees at 35th year, logs will be sectioned in to 5m pieces and loaded in to containers for transport. Transport will be done by the customer. Estimated no. of trees in final harvest is 37050 with the total income of Rs. 12,327,244,592 including income from thinning. With some assumptions made for maintenance cost changes and timber price changes, in 35 years, expected profit is Rs. 11 billion. The IRR value is 24% at the end of 35th year.

Management plan for African mahogany

Management plan for African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis)

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Supun Nigamuni

Khaya senegalensis was introduced to Sri Lanka about 30 years ago and in the past 10 years it has become one of the priority species for timber plantation establishment in the dry zone. Timber is highly valued because of its beautiful figurative grain and its rich reddish mahogany brown colour. It is favored for furniture, high-class joinery, trim and boat building, railroad ties, flooring, turnery and decorative veneer.

A hypothetical company in the name of Greenwood Plantation Services Ltd was selected. Management objectives of the company are production of high-value; high-quality timber on sustainable basis to relieve the pressure on our valuable rainforests, practice commercial forestry by bringing in investors to invest in our plantations, achieve butt logs at harvest approximately 6 m in length and 40-60cm DBHOB with minimal taper and knots in 25 years, maintain plantation volume productivity, of 15-20 m3/ha/y merchantable volume over bark. Company is also aiming at achieving FSC certification enabling it to reach overseas markets.

A marginal land in the Dry Zone of 50 ha in Wellawaya is selected by using indigenous knowledge & checking soil parameters. Land Demarcation is carried out by surveying and establishing boundaries. Land is divided in to 10 perch blocks in order to attract small scale investors. Plots near the main roads or boundaries of the land and if there is a tank or natural scenery plots associated with that is kept by the company as a security. Main road of 20 ft, sub roads of 12 ft will also be demarcated. Land clearing, removing shrubs, clear debris is carried out in late September, holing & planting carried out in early October targeting the NE monsoon. 800-1100 trees/ha will be planted with a spacing of 3m × 3m. Live fire belt will be established using Hana.

Proper maintenance practices will be established including fertilizing up to 4 yrs and after the PCT with a mixture of N:P:K 9:13:9. Three commercial thinnings are carried out at the ages of 11yrs, 15yrs, 20yrs. Creeper cutting is carried out from the 1st year while pruning carried out from 4th year before and after the rainy season. Watering is done using drip irrigation up to 6 years, 4l/day in the dry season. Harvesting will be done using clear felling at the age of 25 yrs. In its natural range, K. senegalensis can be severely attacked by shoot borers (Hypsiphylla robusta). Such attacks may result in misshapen trees with no timber value. Carbofuran can be used to minimize these attacks.

At present harvest of 1 m3 of > 1.5m log in the local market is Rs. 13,830.00. Assuming 6% annual increase of Khaya lumber prices in 25 years it is projected to be Rs. 34,580.00. By doing a detail cost benefit analysis it is evident that the company will make an aggregate profit of Rs.1.4 billion in 25 yeas.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Establishment and maintenance plan for Pericopsis mooniana

Establishment and maintenance plan for Pericopsis mooniana

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Sarath Ranaweera

Pericopsis mooniana (Nedun) is a perennial tree of family Fabaceae. Mature height and dbh of this species are 20-30m and 30-70cm respectively. The trees are usually located in low land wet zone forests. Timber of Pericopsis mooniana works well with the tools. It has high durability. Colour of heart wood is dark brown and sap wood is pale in colour. It is good for furniture paneling, veneer and turnery production.

Nedun Plantation Company will start to establish a commercial Nedun plantation in June 2010. It is an investment company with Eco-friendly business plan. The company hopes to provide Nedun timber to local market and provide employment opportunities for rural people. For this proposes a land is selected in Karapagala, Mathugama. It is a barren one due to long term Tea cultivation, as well as due to high soil erosion.

The land should be developed using sloping agricultural land technique. Then Gliricidia is used to soil enhancement because it is a Nitrogen fixing and Nutrient recycling tree. Coir dust is applied as a mulch and Gliricidia shoots are lopped and laid on ground as twice per year. In addition to that Desmodium is planted as live mulch.

Nedun seedlings (purchased from FD) are planted in May-June of 2011 after totally killing of Desmodium using Glyphosate. Then Nedun and Pepper seedlings are planted. N.P.K. ratio (9:13:9) fertilizer is added to Nedun plants in first three years and just after PCT at year 7. Two pruning treatments must be done at age 4 and 7. Creeper cuttings are conducted twice per year until year 5. At pre-commercial thinning, 500 trees are removed at 7 years age. Pepper yield can be obtained from year 3 to year 13 of Nedun plant age. At year 13 of Nedun plants, 1st commercial thinning is done to remove 300 trees. This practice cannot be done with Gliricidia and Pepper. Therefore they are removed before this thinning. Gliricidia timber can be sold as fire wood. After that, the 2nd commercial thinning is done and sold as timber at 20 years age by removing 150 trees. We assume 0.3m3 volumes at 13 years, 0.5 m3 volume at 20 years and 1.0m3 volume at 40 years from a tree. Pest and diseases threats are minimal to Nedun plantation. Most of the time leaf eating caterpillars make damages. There is no severe damage after 3 years of Nedun plant. Therefore contact poisons can be applied within nursery period to first 3 years whenever necessary. There is a minimum threat to occur a forest fire, because this plantation is located in the wet zone. Most of the time surrounding people tend do illicit felling. Therefore the company expects to provide security using four watchers. One other benefit in addition to above of Pericopsis mooniana is that it can used to prevent soil erosion due to the heavy crown. It is also a carbon sink and create scenic value as a natural forest are more important through environmental view.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Establishment and maintenance plan for Cedrela toona

Establishment and maintenance plan for Cedrela toona

Abstract of a seminar presentation
Based on a hypothetically formed plantation company
Sadeepa Senarath Yapa

Establishment and maintenance plan for Cedrela toona is prepared by a company named as Evergreen Plantation Limited who is willing to establish a commercial toona plantation in a barren land of upcountry. The company is mainly targeting to obtain a maximum profit by selling toona timber which is popular as a veneer and used for decorative purposes.

This large tree species is a moderate shade demander whose best growth is at the elevation of around 1200m. As we have a barren land of 50ha with no shade trees we have planned to plant Acacia decurrens two years prior to planting toona in the spacing of 4.5m*4.5m. These Acacia plants will be removed completely form the site 7 years after planting them to provide more space for the growing of toona trees.

Land Preparation, planting and other treatments such as weeding, fertilizing, thinning, pruning and pest and disease control will be carried out in a very careful manner in order to obtain maximum volume of timber at the end of the rotation age of 30 years. Fencing and fire lining will be done in the early stages of the plantation establishment to prevent manmade and natural damages to the plantation.

Final stock will be 225 trees per ha which will be removed by shelter wood system to minimize environmental damages which can be occurred in clear felling. Selected trees will be felled, extracted the moved to roadside and transported to the local market.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Effect of farmer woodlots on farmers

Evaluation of farmers woodlots in the aspects of growth and effect on farmers

Thilina Jayarathne and Upul Subasinghe
Paper presented for the 14th International Forestry and Environmental Symposium 2009

The total forest cover of Sri Lanka is estimated as 32% from the total land area. More than 50% of this area lies in the dry zone where the original forests have been cleared drastically. Plantation forests are therefore being established particularly with exotics as local species are very slow growing, despite their very high timber value. Teak was the first exotic species introduced to Sri Lanka by Dutch in the 17th century for replanting purpose. Other than planting by Forest Department of Sri Lanka, the other methods of establishing teak plantations were community forestry projects (CFP), and now by participatory forestry projects (PFP).

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the farmers' woodlot programmes to identify the effects on farmers. For this purpose, a questionnaire survey was conducted to obtain information on their socio-economic status and management constraints from Anuradhapura, Thambuttegama, Kekirawa Ranges (Anuradhapura Forest Division), Habarana Range (Polonnaruwa Forest Division) and Galgamuawa Range (Kurunegala Forest Division). The questionnaire was distributed among randomly selected ten farmers of each plantation (altogether 214 plantations).

The results revealed the inadequacy of current lease agreement (25 years) and 100% of the respondents wanted to have an extension varying from 5 to 50 years. Moreover, 98% of the total respondents agreed to implement this programme for a second rotation. Farmers have been given a proper guidance by the government officers during the initial establishment stage of the farmer's woodlots. However, it has become inadequate with the time, especially when pruning and thinning are required. Elephant's damages and lack of water are the major problems faced by the most of the farmers. However, according to the farmers, there were minimum elephant damage after plantations become naturalised as witnessed in the Rambukwewa plantation in the Kekirawa range.

Results and direct observations also indicated that some lands given to establish farmers' woodlots are marginal lands for plant growth. Most of lands also indicated frequent fire and erosion. Since teak needs comparatively more nutrients for plant growth, it is recommended to evaluate the chosen sites for (i) the available nutrient levels, (ii) required timber species to match the site quality and (iii) the required growth rate.

In order to enhance the income of the farmers, it is recommended to start the second cycle of woodlots soon after completing the present one, perhaps with better management techniques. However, the plantations vulnerable for elephant damages should not be replanted using teak unless there is an effective protection system. Otherwise such plantations should gradually be converted to natural dry zone forests by the local species such as Azadirachta indica and Tamarindus indica.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Timber production in high density planting of Rubber

Timber production in high density planting of Hevea brasiliensis (Rubber)

Kelum Silva, Upul Subasinghe and Lakshman Rodrigo
Paper presented for the 14th International Forestry and Environmental Symposium 2009

The demand of natural rubber has increased continuously with the increase of population and living standards of the human being. Rubber plantations are also a major source of timber and fuels wood. In order to meet the continuous increase in demand for latex, timber and fuelwood, the productivity of rubber plantations should be increased. Whilst producing high yielding clones for improved latex and timber yield per tree which is a long-term process in perennial crops, planting density could be adjusted to obtain high productivity in rubber plantations. The present level of planting density of rubber in Sri Lanka has been decided on the experiments conducted with the genotypes which are not in common use at the moment. Therefore the present study was aimed to identify the suitable planting density for the recently developed and commonly used genotypes of rubber. This paper is focused to assess the timber production of rubber with respect to high density planting.

The experiment was set up in Rathnapura District of Sri Lanka in 1992. Rubber was planted in three high densities, i.e., 600, 700 and 800 trees per hectare. Also three genotypes (clones), i.e., RRIC 100, RRIC 110 and RRIC 121 were incorporated with the statistical design of split plot where the planting densities were laid as the main plot whilst clones were in the sub-plots. Five trees in each sub-plot were randomly selected and used for the measurements of total tree height (TH), crown height (CH), thickness of the untapped bark (BT) and tree diameter at breast height. Thereafter, stem volumes were determined using the Newton’s formula.

Both TH and CH did not vary significantly among the planting densities tested. Although not statistically significant, there was a marginal decrease in tree diameter with the increase in planting density. Irrespective of the clone used, BT and mean merchantable timber volume per tree decreased significantly with increase in planting density. Nevertheless, this decrease was compensated by the increased number of trees in high densities resulting in comparable level of merchantable volume per hectare among different densities. Total stem volume per tree remained same among four densities tested with that total stem per hectare increased significantly with the increase of planting density. Therefore, higher densities are more useful in the industries of fuelwood, pulp, MDF boards etc. Among the clones tested, the clone RRIC 212outperformed in growth and timber production. The clone RRIC 110 was infected with the Corynespora disease hence showed poor performance in all densities. Despite the increase in total timber production with the increase in planting density, overall financial viability of different densities is to be assessed considering all cost components and valuing both timber and latex produced before making any firm recommendation.