In the Orne – France, Yves is finally seeing his forestry project come to life!

Robinia seedling plant / © Paul Alleaume

Saint-Fraimbault, 7 August 2019

Yves Jeannin’s family-run orchard of juice apples was uprooted following a period of overproduction in the region. This explains why this former arboriculturist decided to abandon apple production and focus instead on a major forestry project.

This forest is being planted to produce wood and preserve biodiversity. Indeed, its owner wants to create a seven-metre-wide pathway around all the plots in order to be able to walk around the forest and observe the wildlife living here.

In order to be able to plant on this family farmland, Yves Jeannin submitted a request to the DREAL (Direction Régional de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement) to obtain the necessary permit to plant and start the preparatory work for the project.

First, the owner removed the apple trees from the orchard and made sure the trunks were recouped – sending them to boiler plants in Normandy to be used as fuel wood. The soil was then prepared to facilitate installation of the young trees.

Planting line / © Paul Alleaume

The plantation work was carried out in March-April 2018 by the Alliance Forêts Bois cooperative. The seedlings were mainly taken from local nurseries. Species were chosen to avoid creating a monospecific forest, i.e. one comprisinga single tree species that weakens the soil.. A total of 14,600 Douglas, 6,281 Robinia, 8,015 Chestnut and 6,165 Sessile Oaks have been planted, on 25 ha.  The community of “A Tree For You” planters having contributed to planting of 10 ha, or 11,400 trees that will eventually represent a mature stand of 1,030 chestnut, 1,040 Douglas, and 50 oak trees.

Douglas fir planting line / © Paul Alleaume

This year, Yves Jeannin must obtain a Simple Management Plan, a forest management document obligatory for all properties over 25 ha.

Helped by the Alliance Forêts Bois cooperative, he must now monitor the progress of his plantation. He will be clearing by hand around the plants to prevent them from being invaded and overrun by vegetation.

Douglas fir plant with grass / © Paul Alleaume
Douglas fir plant with grass / © Paul Alleaume

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