The process of replanting or regenerating damaged or destroyed forests for the welfares of humankind is the true reforestation definition. Sometimes it is easier for forests to regenerate their trees because of the seed dispersion. But, some forests degrade so severely that they cannot restore on their own unless new planting is done by using native techniques.
Why is reforestation essential?
The role trees play on the earth defines the importance of reforestation. Creating new forests is essential to protect fields and buildings from the winds and prevent soil erosion or desertification. Riverside trees stabilize and strengthen the coastal areas. For some species, woods are natural habitation, and they are hard to find other than forests. Hence, it is vital to regenerate the destroyed forest area and establish new ones.
Furthermore, restoring damaged areas due to natural calamities such as floods, fires, earthquakes, etc., also comes under the reforestation definition. Artificial interventions like archeological deployment, mining, or construction also play a huge role in destroying natural forest areas. Therefore, reforestation is the leading solution to maintain ecological stability.
There are two ways to plant: artificial and natural. The natural procedure takes place by relying on the nearby sprouts and seeds without human aid. But, natural reforestation is sometimes inadequate and needs human support when trees do not grow naturally. The basic idea behind conjoining reforestation with deforestation is to transform the end into a new beginning if possible.
There are two methods of reforestation, depending on the coexisting trees:
1) Even-aged stands – removing old roots to let the new stand grow; 2) uneven-aged stands – growing younger and older trees simultaneously.
Even-aged Methods: Providing adequate sunlight for sprouts is called the even-aged method. It comprises seed trees, clear-cutting, and shelter-wood options.
Seed tree is a technique in which they leave several old trees for seeds (6-15 per acre). They cut trees after the seeds grow or sometimes leave them for landscape or wildlife aesthetics.
Clear-cutting means the elimination of mature stands to let the new ones grow. However, trees that provide shelter remain preserved.
Shelter-wood recommends planting saplings with old shelter providing trees. The method involves three stages; preliminary cut for better seed production, formation cut to supply seeds, and removal cut of older trees to eradicate competition with seedlings.
Cutting trees in groups or individual tree-cutting to make space for new stands is called the uneven-aged method.
Reforestation offers a wide range of benefits when it comes down to employment. It also increases biodiversity. Carbon sequestration and improved water quality are also a result of reforestation. Moreover, reforestation makes the land more welcoming for the wildlife by providing shelter and food. And, last but not least, people have seen extensive outreach after reforestation to learn new techniques, benefits and knowing natives better.