Selective cutting of black pines
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude for your continuous support to our project in Natori. Without your generosity, it would be difficult for us to implement the needed activities.
Our project is now on its second phase and despite the corona pandemic, we are working hard together with the government`s forest experts, sub-contracted forest workers, and mobilized local volunteers for the maintenance of our project site.
On May 17, we conducted a thinning trial together with the Miyagi Central Forestry experts and Matsushima General Forest. In an area of 0.12 hectare, we meticulously removed a total of 138 growing black-pine trees. For the entire process of thinning, we needed 6 people who had to work relay for the safe and efficient removal of the black-pines away from the site. One person was assigned for the actual cutting using a small chainsaw, 4 persons to carry them outside, and 1 person to load on the truck. If the cut trees are left within the project site to rot, it will become a hotbed for damaging pine worms.
Here are the three main reasons why there is a need to do thinning:
- Thinning will promote horizontal growth of roots which is important for growing strong, big, and sturdy individual trees tolerant to natural disturbance. This is crucial for the creation of a healthy and resilient forest that will protect the people from disasters, wind-blown sand, salt-spray, and strong wind. Moreover, the pre-tsunami black-pines were never thinned and as a result, they were easily uprooted and wiped-out by tsunami.
- With thinning, sunlight could freely penetrate the ground and will prevent black-pines` lower branches from withering. Both the lower and upper branches of the black-pines are crucial for the protection of the communities and their agricultural farms from disasters, wind-blown sand, salt-spray, and strong wind.
- Thinning encourages undergrowth expansion, plant diversity, and improve wildlife habitat. Undergrowth hampers movement of wind-blown sand/soil that can be damaging to the agricultural farms.
We initially scheduled to do thinning in 2023, but due to the unexpected fast growth of our black-pines, we felt the need to immediately reduce the number of standing trees starting this year. Following the guidelines of Japan`s Forest Agency, we are scheduled to remove at least 25% or 6,250 black-pines planted in 5-hectare 2014 site.
Loading of cut trees on the dump truck.