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Reforestation program

7 March 2019

In 2019 the Charlois Group, which has been actively engaged in sustainable forest management for many years, launched a vast tree-planting operation of some 40,000 young trees each year for 10 years, taking into consideration the local biodiversity and its evolution as well as climate change.

This programme, spread across 7 forests in France, represents a total of more than 400,000 new trees over a surface of almost 140 hectares.


Geographical situation: Saint-Aubin-les-Forges – Nièvre
Surface: 32 ha


The climate here is characterised by annual rainfall levels of around 850 mm, evenly spread across the sector, and an average temperature of around 10°C. The altitude varies between 225 and 280 metres.
Geologically speaking, the forest soils are composed principally of altered clay with small flinty pebbles or silexites, sometimes in large numbers, over Dogger and Malm limestone subsoils. There are good groundwater reserves, and the rich, well drained earth offers excellent growing conditions, particularly for oaks and Douglas firs.


Situated at the south-western edge of the Bertranges national forest, Doué was originally covered in pedunculated and sessile oaks used for coppicing. In 1960 the woodland was of mediocre quality with a low density of oaks. At that time the native oaks were replaced by a plantation of Douglas firs. This regularly maintained stand of trees, having reached maturity, was felled in 2017.


September 2018 – Preparation
Four plots of this forest were to be prepared following forestry clearance, with the objective of:
– Clearing away cut branches and razing stumps to make room for planting
– Improving the structure of the soil to encourage and accelerate seedling growth
– Limiting competition from wild plants
– Simplifying future maintenance by eliminating obstacles to mechanization
– Facilitating the planting process


The cut branches and tree trunks were piled in heaps to decompose and enrich the soil over time. Two small ponds were created to encourage biodiversity.


March 2019 – Planting
Replantation of the Doué forest began on 11 March 2019 at a density of 1,500 plants per hectare (representing a total of 47,000 trees for this forest).
Planting of trees is done between autumn and spring, with a preference for spring where the soils are wet and heavy and autumn where the soils are light and sandy.
Bare rootstock can be planted from mid-November to mid-March, and plants in pots or root balls can be planted from October to the end of April.
Planting should preferably be avoided when the earth is frosty, covered in snow or waterlogged, and in periods of extreme sun or cold, drying winds.
The mix of tree varieties was chosen to suit the soils, but also to allow this young forest to stand up to the vagaries of the climate. The dominant variety was oak, at over 65%, followed by Douglas fir.

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