What is the role of forestry?

Trees are essential to life on earth, performing an amazing, life-sustaining role through their ability to combine sunlight, water, nutrients and carbon dioxide to produce woody biomass and release oxygen that supports all life.

Forestry is the practical application of scientific, economic and social principles used in the establishment and management of forests. It encompasses the management of natural forests and woodlands, plantations, and the various combinations of trees and agriculture known as agroforestry or farm forestry. The practitioners of forest and plantation management are known as forest scientists, or foresters.

A unique aspect of forestry is its long-term focus on the sustainability of tree-dominated ecosystems. This requires foresters to deal with both day-to-day variables, such as weather and pests, and the future view which can be more than 100 years away. Planning is therefore integral to forest management; short term planning for seasonal activities each year, such as bushfire prevention, and long term planning, including timber harvesting to ensure that all other activities contribute to the enduring objectives of management and sustainability.

 

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