Characteristics of tree stands and the tasks of silvicultural interventions in urban forests, as illustrated with the example of Skałki Twardowskiego and Górka Pychowicka reserves
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Department of Ecology and Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture in Krakow
Acceptance date: 2020-12-15
Publication date: 2021-03-16
Acta Silvestria 2020;LVII:25–46
The objectives of the study included: (i) assessment of wood resources, advanced regeneration and undergrowth; (ii) inventory of tree microhabitats; and (iii) determining the tasks of cutting treatments in the tree stands in areas of Skałki Twardowskiego and Górka Pychowicka reserves, which are attractive from recreational point of view. The work is a case study, and the tasks of silvicultural interventions in the studied objects were determined based on the preferences of the general public as to the appearance of the forest, resulting from the literature on the subject. The paper presents an analysis of the structure of tending cuts that accomplish the following tasks: removal of trees that pose a threat to safety; removal of trees with extremely shortened crowns or trees that are excessively slender; sanitary cuts consisting in the removal of dying trees or leaving them as microhabitats; removal of invasive species such as ash-leaf maple, American bird cherry; positive selection (in favour of valuable, high-quality, rare species); promotion of single- species groups of trees (removal of another species, group release); removal of one trunk in the trees bifurcated in the butt (≤ 1.3 m high); reducing density; supporting the understory trees and advanced regeneration (shaping a diverse structure); conversion cuts; removal of undergrowth and trees from understory, in order to improve visibility, at a distance of 20 m from footpaths and clearings. In the tree stands dominated by pine in the Skałki Twardowskiego reserve, conversion cuts were dominant. In tree stands with the desired species composition, mainly the specimens with a higher quality of the trunk were promoted, and cuts were suggested leading to differentiation of the structure. Notably, there is also a large share of cuts aimed at improving safety and sanitation. In the tree stands of Górka Pychowicka reserve, the task of promoting groups, and selection promoting rare species, as well as cuts aimed at differentiating the structure dominated. Also, a relatively large share was the cuts promoting specimens with attractive habit traits, and trees with a higher quality of the trunk. An analysis of the interaction of the effect of planned cuts was performed in the context of providing psychological, sociological, economic and aesthetic benefits to urban communities.