Eucalyptus forest, Galicia. Image: Mimohe Shutterstock

The vast majority of final agricultural production of forest origin in Galicia (84%) is wood intended for industrial processing. This wood is composed of pine and eucalyptus in almost equal parts in 94% of the total production.

It is a booming sector, as demand exceeds production in Europe. And the demand continues to grow year by year, while the production grows at a slower rate. Efficient and sustainable management of the forest mass can generate a very important source of income that benefits rural areas, so important for the maintenance and protection of the environment in their respective regions.

More than 80,000 cuts of wood are produced per year, for a direct value of 300 million euros, which becomes more than 2,000 after being valued by the industry.

Logging in the Galician mountains is increasing year by year. Eucalyptus and conifers, along with the rest of the hardwoods, have increased their cuts of industrial timber in recent years. With a more pronounced increase in eucalyptus cases, data collected over the past 20 years tells us that eucalyptus cuts have doubled.

Forestry sector in Galicia.

The forestry sector in Galicia contributes 1.8% of Galician GDP to its economy, according to 2012 data. It directly employs 15,000 people, 12% of industrial employment in Galicia. Indirectly, it employs 60,000 people, or 5.3% of total employment. Every 100 m3 who are transformed, have a job. One of the pillars of development in rural areas.

Forest areas:

  • Pure conifers: 434,000 ha.
  • Hardwood (no eucalyptus): 415,000 ha.
  • Pure eucalyptus stands: 288,000 ha.
  • Mixed stands of pine with eucalyptus: 124,000 (main species of pine).
  • Mixed stands of eucalyptus with Quercus Robur: 22,000 ha (main species of eucalyptus).

Annual harvests in Galicia:

  • Eucalyptus: 4.5 million m3.
  • Conifers: 3.5 million m3.
  • Leafy rest: 0.3 million m3.

Eucalyptus produces 54% of cut wood using only 17% of the area.

Image: Raul Bal Shutterstock

Eucalyptus: leader in efficiency.

If we take into account the forest area of ​​Galicia and Asturias, two great powers in this sector, 17% of its area is occupied by eucalyptus, which together produce 54% of the timber cut.

In this way, eucalyptus uses the area more efficiently, producing more and better, and allowing more intensive use of the area intended for the forestry sector.

If we compare the different species normally used for cellulose production, among which we find eucalyptus, birch, pine, fir or beech, we find interesting data.

If we compare m3, ha and year, we obtain eucalyptus 15 to 30 m3 per ha and year, improving the yield of birch (3-8), pine (2-10), fir (4- 10), beech (2 -9) and acacia 15-25.

If we talk about the years of pruning, eucalyptus has a time frame of 9 to 14 years, birch from 25 to 45, pine from 75 to 110, fir from 60 to 80, beech from 100 to 140 and acacia from 6 to 12.

In this way, the industrial performance of the different species, measured in effluent flow (m3/Adt), it is 2.8-2.9 for eucalyptus globulus, 3.8 – 4 for eucalyptus grandis, 5 for pine, 4.5 for birch, 4.9 for poplar or 3 for acacia.

Cultivation of eucalyptus, Galicia. Image: Tono Balaguer Shutterstock

Uses of Galician wood.

Forestry is the set of treatments applied to the forest mass in order to achieve its sustainability over time, according to principles of sustainability and multiple use, through environmentally friendly processes.

In this way, a balance can be achieved between respect for nature and the creation of wealth in forest areas.

The wood cut in Galicia has three uses: biomass and firewood, shell and roundwood.

Biomass and firewood, as well as pods, are primarily used to produce bioenergy, both at the industrial and household level, as well as for gardening substrates and sawdust for farms, among other uses. less known.

Roundwood is used for the production of packaging, pellets, furniture, general carpentry and pulp.

Let us not forget that good forest management improves the forest, with a positive impact on the prevention and extinction of fires # CoñecementoParaTodos

Benefits of forest management.

Efficient and sustainable forest management generates many benefits for its environment, including:

  • Raw materials for bioproducts.
  • CO2 fixation.
  • Fire prevention.
  • Improvement of soil quality.
  • Reduction of soil erosion.
  • Regulation of the water cycle.
  • Improves soil efficiency for other uses.

Forest certification of Galicia.

Forest management in Galicia is governed by the principles of forest certification.

The forest certification is a voluntary process of evaluation of forest properties or companies, which verifies and certifies by certificate, that the management of a forest is carried out in accordance with a set of pre-regulated criteria and standards.

The certification is carried out by an independent entity.

Forest Council Stewardship.

  • Based on the Rio Conference (1992).
  • Supported by environmental NGOs.
  • It allows individual and group certifications.
  • Long process, with public consultations.
  • The FSC itself accredits certification companies.

Program for the recognition of forest certification systems.

  • Based on European Ministerial Conferences.
  • Supported initially by the forestry sector (property and industry).
  • Supports regional certifications.
  • Short and simple certification processes.
  • Certification bodies accredited by independent bodies.