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Reforestation: Carbon Dioxide and Forest

Oct 08, 1999 814 Words
Reforestation

The purpose of this written report is to inform the reader about the concerns and facts involved with reforestation. Reforestation began in Ontario after World War II. What happened was, professional foresters were assigned to an area and became responsible for its well being. Under the Crown Timber Act, long term management was prepared. Then the many steps needed to rebuild a forest began. Included in this report will be information on the effects of cutting and replanting, such as Carbon Dioxide, and Global Warming. Following this will be methods for planning a forest, and how they are conveyed before planting in a forest begins.

There are many reasons why forests are cut down. One is to benefit economically, with furniture and home building. But there is also another reason. Arguments say "the United States could help slow the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide by replacing old-growth forests with faster-growing young trees". A new study of young and old forests says how this is in fact not true. Loggers have said that new trees pull the carbon dioxide better than old trees, and this may seem true, but it is not. There is one point being overlooked from all of this. The older, larger trees can store much, much more carbon dioxide than a new tree could. By cutting and burning these magnificent seasoned trees, the CO2 is being released back into the atmosphere. These releases of carbon dioxide add up in our surroundings, only to intensify Global Warming. Although this shows what happens when one burns and cuts down old forests, one must still plant new trees for long term plans, not letting them grow for a few years, to then cut them down.

There are many methods for planning a forest. The simplest method of replanting a forest is to leave it to nature. A suitable seed bed in which trees will readily take root is integral for successful regeneration. Reducing competition by eliminating grass, weed or shrubs is another requirement in securing a new crop of trees. These will sprout to produce seedlings. Though the weeds were eliminated before, they still grow back, and because of this poor, quality trees will grow. Another method though, is to create a planned forest, where new conifers are grown from seed in a special nursery. Seeding is a reforestation technique used mainly in the Boreal forest area where fire or logging tends to leave no or very little seeds for growth. In specific cases, Ministry staff seed the area with treated tree seeds. Following this is the planting. In many cases, planting is the only means of initiating a new forest. Up to 80 000 000 trees are planted annually in Ontario on Crown and private land. Usually immature forests have to be tended to. Once situated, a new crop needs intermittent care for the next 60 to 100 years. This means continuing protection from fires, disease and insects and routine thinning to focus the growth on selected crop trees.

Before a forest can be grown, certain procedures must first occur. Collecting and processing seeds is one of them. Tree flowers fertilized by blowing winds or insects generate seed, in a time of somewhere within 1 to 2 years. Seed collecting from the woods must be timed with periodically occurring good seed years. Angus, near Barrie, is where all forest tree seed collection is co- ordinated. Stock of seeds can value up to $500 000. Usually this is around 3 billion seeds from 59 tree classes.

In summary of the aforesaid, trees are very valuable to the human race economically and for health. Without trees the environment could worsen to the point where we would be living on one large dessert. We must remember that forest do not grow as easily as they used to because of fires and other disasters. This is why many forests are planned, and cared for. Most of us will never now how they turn out because for a forest to completely grow, it needs within anywhere from 60 to 100 years or more.

There are many reasons why we should have reforestation. One being mostly that we need forest to live! Without forests, or any type of plant, the carbon cycle can't result. There are not many arguments against reforestation, but there can be some opposition for the land being used between a large business company and the Ministry. I feel replanting of forests is very crucial to the human race. The earth depends on many cycles, where one organism depends on the other because of what it does. We, exhale carbon dioxide which the trees take in, while they give off vital oxygen.

In closing, we live in an age of technology, leaving behind us the past. With the past we are forgetting forests; we must make sure this doesn't happen.

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