Big development in Turkey’s forests
Some 12.6 million hectares of Turkish forests are pure, which means that about 90 percent of the trees in the forest are of the same type.Nearly all the forests in Turkey are state-owned and administrated by the General Directorate of Forestry.
Privately owned forested lands constitute less than 1 percent of the total amount. Turkey’s forests are managed by forest chief enginers in line with management plans that run on cycles of 10 to 20 years.
As part of the forestry management plans, inventory works are conducted that cover the issues of forest resoruce potential, health, tree species and productivity etc. The data obtained from these works are numerically assessed and management plans are organized according to assessment results. According to the data obtained as a result of updating the forest management plans that were renewed between the years of 2005 and 2012 in the ENVANIS database, the country’s forests occupy a 21.7 million hectares of land, which correspond to 27.6 percent of the country’s overall territory.
The average annual allowable cut that is slated to be obtained from forests in terms of wood output differs according to their operation forms. While this amount is 3,725,583 cubic meters for coppice forests, it is 13,269,618 cubic meters for high forests. So, the total amount was calculated as 16,995,201 cubic meters.
When a general assessment is made, current forested lands are on the increase in terms of their areas and growing stock when compared to the past. Regarding other product and service functions of forests apart from non-wood output, the latest planning and implementing activities affected this change. Also, the activities conducted for the protection and improvement of forests have been influential in effecting an increase of forests in terms of area and the stock.
The tree stock of Turkey’s forests is the total of growing stock of barked cylindrical stem volume of the trunks with diameters of 8 cm or more. According to this, there was around a 560 million-cubic-meter increase in tree stock of the country’s forests between 1973 and 2012. The main reasons for this achievement are the increase in forested lands and improvements in degraded forest lands.
Three categories of forests
Forests can be categorized into three groups in terms of their forms of management. These groups include high forests, coppice forests and high coppice forests. While about 12 million hectares of forests in the country are high forests (more than 50 percent of the overall forested lands), the remaining 10 million hectares are dergraded forests. Turkey does not have any high coppice forests.
Some 12.6 million hectares of the forests are pure (which means that about 90 percent of the trees in the forest are of the same type). The proportion of pure forested areas to the total forested land is 59 percent. About 10 million hectares of forest lands are mixed.
Forests with broad-leaved species (oak, fagus, alder, chestnut and others) constitute 39 percent of the overall forested lands, while 61 percent are of coniferous species such as pine, abies, spruce and cedar.
In terms of their size and the changes they go under and according to the forest inventory assessment results obtained so far, the size of general forested lands was revealed to be 20.2 million hectares (26.1 percent), between 1963 and 1972, and 21.7 million hectares (27.6 percent) in 2012, which is the latest inventory year. According to these inventory results, the forest lands have increased by 1.5 million hectares over the last 40 years.
The data on Turkey’s forests regarding their area, growing stock, increment, tree species and other factors are highly reliable since they are collected with a great effort from a series of detailed data for the preparation of forest management plans. Since forest management plans form the basis of all the activities on forests, the needs of new data and information that emerge parallel to forestry improvement are met in the phase of management planning.