Felling forest trees
Selecting trees to be felled for commercial logging is an essential part of forest management. The process, called tree marking, or martelage in French, results in particular formations when performed on a plot specifically designed for the purpose, a "marteloscope".
The marteloscope simulates the consequences of the selection on the plot’s productivity. In a plot of one hectare, every tree is numbered and described. Tree markers go over the plot, working in pairs, and note which trees should be cut and the reasons for their choice. This information is then entered into a computer system and analysed. The economic and ecological consequences of harvesting decisions can then be visualized.
The MAB Forest Group has initiated studies with a view to expanding use of the marteloscope to:
take into account other management objectives that timber production contributes to, especially those of Mediterranean forests: fire prevention, conservation of biodiversity, firewood production, livestock grazing, hunting, etc.
- increase awareness in people without a forest background, with the aim of establishing a climate of exchange and more open dialogue. The marteloscope is used as a training tool, allowing the various stakeholders (council members, associations, students, etc.) to meet together and exchange views on management practices.