Bush thinning principles and guidelines

Bush thinning principles and guidelines

All bush thinning or harvesting projects should be implemented with environmental consideration to avoid or curb any anticipated environmental damage.

Bush thinning should therefore aim to leave a heterogeneous, mix of trees and bushes. A rule of thumb is to harvest only 30-35% of total available biomass (Smit et. Al 2015). Moreover, all protected plant species should not be harvested although exceptions are made in cases of high densities and in cases of species such as Colophospermum mopane. A few other protected tree species (e.g. Peltophorum africanum and Spirostachys Africana) can form thickets, but the extent of these thickets is not such that they become a threat to rangelands. Felling of protected plant species should be done under supervision of Forestry officials. Further reading on bush thinning principles and recommended density after bush thinning can be found in the Forestry and Environmental Guidelines booklet for bush harvesting projects.

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