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Activity 23

Exploitation is more intensive in the coniferous forests that make up more than half the area of Wallonia’s forests, than in the broad-leaf forests. Conifers grow quickly.

A shelter

For over a decade, foresters in the Ardennes have been reforesting with broad-leaved trees such as oak and beech, so as to obtain bio-diversity in the forest environment.

They select the trees that are the least likely to grow well and get rid of them. In this way, the more promising and important trees have better growth chances.

Branding: the foresters make a notch in the bark of the trunk, where they etch the seal of the forestry service.
Logging: The trees are felled by forestry workers who have purchased logging rights.
Pruning: Once the tree has been felled, all the branches must be stripped away so that the trunk can be cleaned. The thick branches are used for firewood.
Unloading: The trunk is taken to a trail or a road, with the help of big mechanical machines or horses, a method that respects the forest better.
Sawing: The trunks are then taken to the sawmill to be sawn into planks or logs, depending on the uses they are destined for.
Seasoning: The planks (or sometimes the trunks themselves) often have to be stored for months in order to dry out completely.

Timber, a natural, noble material, has come back into fashion in recent years, especially where interior design is concerned.

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