VIDEO. Why so much felling of trees in the Fougères forest?

The cut trees are stored at the edge of the forest, the time to be cut, then crushed on site. (© Republican Chronicle)

Large maneuvers in the forest of Ferns since the beginning of September, and for a few more weeks.

The National Forestry Office is currently cutting down trees along the departmental road 177, between Fougères and Landéan. That is to say, in total 4.5 km of roadside… multiplied by two.

Read also: The ONF defends itself: “the forest of Villecartier is not overexploited”

A request from the department

This work is the result of negotiations carried out since 2016 with the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. The latter owns the shoulders of the road, from the road to the embankment on the edge of the forest. Embankments on which grow beeches, chestnut trees, and a few willows.

Over time, these trees develop and make the maintenance of verges difficult. Hence the slaughter request formulated by the department.

“The office started with the forest of Rennes and the forest of Villecartier, where the security problems were more important. We are continuing in Fougères ”summarizes Benoit Chevallier, ONF forestry officer.

This slaughter has three interests. Safety first of all, by respecting a certain height above the roadway and shoulders.

Improve visibility, then, when animals begin to cross the road.

Finally, facilitate the maintenance of shoulders: the department completely cleans its ditches every seven years or so.

The trees that grow on the edge also orient themselves towards the light, that is to say towards the gap in the road, from where a danger of falling branches in the direction of the roadway.


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To the wood boilers

Through a call for tenders, the Office entrusted the felling site to the company Luc Gautier, from Loire-Atlantique.

This will recover the wood and resell it, for the wood energy sector (supply of wood boilers). Trees at the edge of the forest are in fact hardly usable for timber (construction, furniture).

The site will take place in three stages. First of all the felling using a forest pruner. “This makes it possible to work without cutting down the trees towards the roadway and blocking the road” locates Benoit Chevallier. The cut is done in period of descending sap, dry soil and after nesting. That is to say now.

Read also: In the Fougères forest: tree climbing that lives up to its promises

Stored by the roadside

Then the trees will be skidded and deposited in heaps in various places of deposit, by the roadside. The wood will then be crushed and transported directly “to the local boilers.” “

The process will take time, especially due to the drying of the wood before it is crushed. “Users will therefore see piles of wood for several months on the side of the road”. In total, the Office has inventoried 900 m3 of timber to be felled on its embankments.

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