Poulsker Plantation

Demonstration of new methods and species in practice
New methods pointing towards future needs and
adaptability for forest- and nature management needs to be demonstrated in
large and practice-relevant scale. This happens with the possibility to also
compare with current common methods.

WWF and David Attenborough

The opportunities and perspectives in the forest research, conducted by InNovaSilva are convincingly described by WWF and David Attenborough. Here the need is emphasized for us to use more wood in the greener and more sustainable societies of the future – and at the same time, we must actively consider where all that wood will come from. The need for green transition is presented in the light of the obvious and simultaneous need to free modern societies from the almost total dependence on fossil fuels. Wood is among the most sustainable and climate-friendly materials we have in significant quantities, and which we have the cost-effective opportunity to produce much more of through active forestry and afforestation – if we choose to.

Paradoxically, active forest management and conservation of nature has been met with increasing skepticism in recent decades – particularly regarding the quality of forests as habitats for species and thus biodiversity. Resistance also arises regarding managing forests as a partly production apparatus with the extraction of timber and residual wood for biomass and energy production in particular.


Sustainable and actively managed forests and landscapes are among the most powerful and cost-effective tools at our disposal – even now in modern times. The current crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic underscores the need for cost and resource efficiency – even in our affluent part of the world.

The historically strong connection between practice and research within forestry and forest science is also under pressure, facing the risk of decoupling and the loss of valuable knowledge, experience, and scientific documentation as a result. This project aims to create a stronger platform for communication, documentation, and development of practices within forestry and afforestation.

The effort should be seen as part of IUFRO’s strategy to strengthen the connection between research and practice, thereby enhancing the utilization and implementation of the knowledge and experience crucial for the active forestry to develop, adapt, and contribute to, among other things, green transition and effective climate action.

Which tree species and what about the provenances?

The tree species in the demonstration trial are divided according to the three aforementioned types of objectives, which constitute an aspect of the mosaic in the overall forest:

1) High-productivity conifer mixtures.
2) Productive broadleaf mixtures with understorey tree species and shrubs.
3) Biodiversity forest consisting exclusively of native broadleaf trees, understorey tree species, and shrubs.

The emphasis for the high-productivity conifer mixtures will be on well-known tree species from Danish forestry, of which those demonstrating long-term stability and health are typically delicate and thus problematic in the regeneration phase (such as Douglas fir, Grand fir, and Silver fir). Fucus is placed on demonstrating both pure European species mixtures and mixtures of both European and overseas species.

For the productive deciduous tree mixtures, the emphasis is placed on tree species typically found in southern regions or deciduous species from North America, aiming to anticipate expected climate changes. For the biodiversity forest plots, only Danish native tree species and shrubs are included.

Demonstration of wildlife-resistant regeneration

Wildlife and frost are often the biggest problems for many tree species in the cultivation phase. This is one of the main reasons why especially Sitka spruce and Norway spruce have become so popular in European forestry: They are easy and cheap to establish, while also producing a lot of high-quality wood. On the other hand, concerns are growing about the future stability and health of these two tree species in the face of climate change, with the prospect of more extreme weather such as drought and storms.

Therefore, this project places great emphasis on demonstrating cost-effective silvicultural methods for tree species that are sensitive to wildlife and frost during the cultivation phase. On the other hand, it is expected that several of these sensitive tree species will be more resilient than spruce species in middle-aged and older stands. The implementation of cost-effective silvicultural methods therefore appears to be a prerequisite for the economic future of active forest management. Moreover, cost-effectiveness in nature conservation is also considered an important parameter to ensure the long-term effort for biodiversity.

It is important in demonstration trials that the individual plots are large enough to ensure relevance and demonstration value for practice and society. It is important not only for the operational and experiential aspects of the trial itself but also for the long-term ability to document and communicate, for example, edge effects on timber production, CO2 effects, and biodiversity in this practice-oriented mosaic structure. Within each plot, there will thus be room for both sown and planted caps, in addition to opportunities for areas with/without traditional measures such as fences and application of wildlife repellents. In the future, there will also be opportunities for follow-up treatments such as establishing gradients from weak to strong thinning.