ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Forestry in Zimbabwe: Exotic commercial forests
- These are extensive forest areas planted with imported tree varieties like pine, wattle and eucalyptus.
- These forests are mainly found in the Eastern Highlands where there was less competition with crop farming due to the mountainous terrain.
- The area has cool temperatures averaging 17 °C to 22 °C and high rainfall of over 1 500 mm per annum.
- The plantations are Inyangani and Stapleford to the north of Mutare.
- Extensive forest areas mainly of pine are also found in the Penhalonga-Mtarazi areas, Juliasdale, Vumba, Chimaninmani and Chipinge areas.
- Eucalyptus plantations are however more widespread. These are also found around Marondera, Norton and at Mtao forest near Mvuma.
- These forests are harvested by mechanical means applying both selective and clear felling methods.
- Selective felling involves the cutting down of selected mature trees within the forest areas. Felling and transportation of logs is more difficult due to the presence of vegetation in the harvesting area.
- Clear felling involves the felling of whole forest areas, cutting all trees. This makes replanting, felling and transportation easy. It however exposes the land to hazards of erosion, before the young seedlings grow high enough to give good ground cover.
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