Reforestation programme

A brief

Several subsequent projects have been undertaken with some cooperation with Conaf (National Forest Corporation of Chile) under the Law on Native Forest, to plant native trees common to the region, with the objective of native ecosystem restoration and erosion control.


Legal base at present: Law on Native Forest 20.283 (Ley_Bosque_Nativo_Reglamentos.pdf), main provisions will be subsequently detailed in “Legal”.


Time period : 2010 - 2018

To date more than 230 000 trees of local species were planted

A total of more than 310 hectares affected

Average recent documented survival rate is 85 % (attested by Conaf - national Forestry Authority)

Largest project in the region under under national Law on Native Forest (N° 20.283)


Local tree species planted:

Lenga beech (Nothofagus pumilio), IUCN - least concern;

Ñire (Nothofagus antarctica);

Mañio Macho (Podocarpus nubigenus), IUCN - near threatened;

Coihue de Magallanes (Nothofagus betuloides);

Coihue de Chiloé (Nothofagus nitida);

Coihue común (Nothofagus dombeyi), IUCN - least concern;

Rauli beech (Nothofagus alpina), IUCN - least concern;

Cordilleran cypress (Austrocedrus chilensis), IUCN - near threatened;

Chilean firetree (Embothrium coccineum).


Trials with some other species native to the Cordillera have met mixed success.


Sources of seedlings:

   Forestal Mininco;

   Cofré forest;

   Conaf;

   40 000 trees were donated by our generous neighbour - Aristides Benavente.


Preference is given to seedlings from the North for climate change adaptation (climate adjusting provenancing), with space allowed for epigenetics. The paradigm “local is best” in reforestation is being increasingly questioned, at both species and provenance levels.

Planting programme in brief (ROL 00843-003 and ROL 00834-002) :


2010 (October) :

3,5 ha ; the west slope of the terrace, lower section; trees: Coihue (5000), Lenga, Ñire; for erosion control; the upper section was not planted as it was too dry.


2012 (May - June) :

7,7 ha ; the slope above the road just before the river crossing; trees: Coihue (4000), Lenga (1500), Ñire (3000), Rauli (300), Cypress of the Cordillera (500); under the Conaf project to protect the road - "Soil Protection and Forest Conservation"; plant source - Conaf; the Cypress was an experiment, they all died; Rauli is not common to the area, few survived.


2013 :

20 ha ; the eastern and upper slopes of the Meliquina river; trees: Coihue (5000), Lenga (7000), Ñire (3000), Mañio Macho (1000), Notro (1000); erosion control; plant source - Mininco (15,000), Conaf (4000 Coihues and Lengas); the 4000 Lengas and Coihues of Conaf were maintained as seedlings and were 60 cm to one meter high when planted.


2014 :

35 ha ; western upper sector; trees: Coihue (24 500), Lenga (12,000), Notro (405); erosion control and restoration; plant source - Mininco (12,000 Lengas, 4,000 Coihues, 405 Notros) + 22,000 Coihues de Cofré; 26,000 Coihues were planted as seedlings in October 2013, about 4,000 died.


2015 :

24 ha ; Western sector of the forest; trees: Coihue de Magallanes (20,000), Lenga (10,000), Notro (5,000); erosion control and restoration; source of plants - Mininco.


2016 :

Coihue de Magallanes, Coihue de Chiloé, Coihue común, Ñire, Notro, Mañío Macho, Fuinque.


2017: 15 000 trees planted.

  1. Goal: natural forest ecosystem restoration, non commercial.

  2. All planting was done by hand, by a team of professional planters, horse transport. This aspect is very important for the survival rate, given the recent discoveries in plant sensitivity, immunity and resilience.

  3. The planting is done according to ecosystem-specific natural planting protocols, under the guidance of and according to the management plans developed by an experienced local forest engineer.

  4. No artificial support for planted seedlings.

  5. Each new planting is done on the basis of the experience with the previous one.

  6. Reforestation in areas where natural predators, like foxes, can protect the seedlings;

  7. Wildlife habitat restoration;

  8. Synergies between planted, remaining and regrown forest.

  9. Commitment to long-term management.

  10. Move to seeds and plant stock sourced from project.


A fact: Removing trees from primary forests and replanting trees (process, promoted by industry) has a time-averaged net emission for several cycles and is harmful. Whereas reforestation on long-cleared land has net sequestration of carbon for several cycles.


A citation:

“Today, almost all trees are planted with planting machines that speed up work, but with manual work, plant survival rates are higher”, Экология и жизнь, 5(34) 2003, p. 62.


Ecosystem-specific planting protocols and lessons learned are not detailed here for the moment as they are being assessed and prepared for a SER (Society of Ecological Restoration) publication.

October 2018