The Better Eucalypt project is an education, research and knowledge transfer project aiming towards the promotion of good management practices in eucalypt plantations among industrial and non-industrial owners, and hosted by CELPA.
Under the scope of the project, 40 knowledge dissemination sessions were organized for forest owners and forest managers that involved 1200 participants. Several types of dissemination material from videos to leaflets were produced and made available. Additionally, 2 demonstration sites, located side by side, one following the current management practiced by non-industrial forest owners and the other following the best recommend practices were set up. These sites have now been monitored for three years.
The “Clean and Fertilize” program within the project ensures the knowledge is transferred to the owner, who has to submit an application that is approved provided some eligibility criteria are met: e.g. pure even-aged eucalypt plantations between 2 and 6 years, not past the 3rd rotation with the correct stand densities (> 800 living trees/ha), and covering areas > 0.25 ha per plot but not totalling more than 25 ha. Once the application has been approved the owner is visited on-site by a forestry technician. This program will enable forest owners to get weed control, shoot selection, and fertilization services (fertilizer is offered) carried out by experts according to sustainability principles.
Author: Susana Barreiro (Instituto Superior de Agronomia)