Plantation Silviculture

Plantation Silviculture

Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values. The practices include spacing, weeding, pruning and thinning.

Plantation Silviculture aims to develop silvicultural techniques which help deliver sustainable   plantation forest management based on a scientific understanding of how forests function.  Research is founded upon ecological and physiological understanding of tree growth and development over time. Therefore the activities involve all stages of tree and forest development and the impact of different strategies upon the outputs from forests.

Research provides information to support the development of national forestry policy and  advice to forest sector, forest nurseries, tree seed producers, other research  establishments, the academia such as  universities and other tertiary institutions.

Research Programmes 

¨ Weeding Studies

¨ Nutrition Studies

¨ Land Preparation Studies

¨ Correlated Curve Trend Management Trials


¨ Established  spacing prescriptions, thinning and pruning regimes for the different commercial species for various end products.

¨ Developed yield models and tables for most of the traditionally grown exotics in Zimbabwe.

¨ Site indexing for exotic species in  Silvicultural zones in Zimbabwe.

Some common Silvicultural operations

Slashing Spraying Pruning Weeding  

Current research priorities 

  • Site species matching 
  • Site Classification 
  • Silvicultural techniques for Acacia mearnsii