Japan has 25 million hectares of forest, which is about two thirds of the Japanese national territory. 40% of the forest, 10 million hectares, is known as an artificial forest, where the government took initiative to create. The forest mainly consists of cedar and Japanese cypress, also known as an acicular tree.
Most of them were planted after World War II.
In the past, the artificial forest was constantly thinned so that all of the trees can absorb necessary nutrients from the sun. But as the import of cheap lumbers from overseas increased, the domestic lumber market slumped. As a consequence, the frequency of thinning lessened, and Japanese lumber industry shrunk.
Without the thinning of a forest, growth of each tree weakens because of its denseness. Since the sunlight doesn’t reach the ground, bottom weed does not grow properly, and soil is washed out with rain.
As for the domestic activities, more trees values thinning more than planting. By allocating adequate space between each tree and let the sunshine pour light from the top of a tree to soil, we can grow a sustainable forest.
In a conventional thinning, what is known as “cut and leave thinning (thinned trees are all left at the scene.)” was widely used, because a transportation cost of the leftover suppresses the profit, and it will not be sustainable from a business perspective.
more trees will strive to incur the necessary cost to transport the leftover. Along with the cooperation of local governments, more trees comes up with solutions to solve this transportation issue, as well as a usage of the leftover. These activities will ultimately lead to the area’s economic activities.
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