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Tree Farming

  • By: Brendan Sweeney
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Tree farming, or plantation forestry, is a system of cultivated forests established by planting or seeding in the process of afforestation (converting bare or fallow land into forests) and reforestation (planting once forested land with trees or other woody plants). Tree farms are established for several reasons, for example, to produce wood biomass, especially where natural timber stands are depleted; to meet the demand for high-quality species (e.g., mahogany, cedar); to develop export markets; to conserve or restore soil and water; to protect biodiversity; and to supply potential markets for carbon sequestration. While tree farms provide numerous benefits, critics note a number of ecological and socioeconomic defects; these are summarized below.

While tree farms existed throughout the world for centuries, their incidence increased dramatically in the ...

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