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We know that for centuries trees from Karst were used as a foundations where Venice was build. So presumably, in 17th and 18th century, Karst was a stony desert.

We also know that Karst or Kras (native) was man-made reforested since middle of 19th and 20th century. In second half of 20th century reforesting became natural process without help.

My question is, was it first successful man-made reforesting or did some other nation performed such a feat before in such big area?

  • Do you mean a man-made reforesting? Forests naturally burn away when the undergrowth gets too thick, and many tree species (firs the best known) only re-seed after a crown fire. This is a reforesting that occurs naturally in all forests, over time. – Pieter Geerkens Jun 3 '16 at 21:28
  • Yes of course a man made. Karst become "stony desert" in 17th century. I edited my question a bit to be more understandable. thx. – Febo Jun 4 '16 at 10:39
  • This does not bear attestation of intentional foresting, but is interesting regardless: helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/17684 – called2voyage Jun 7 '16 at 15:18
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The English New Forest was planted by the conquering Normans in the 11th century, and replaced farmland that had been cleared about 1,000 years earlier. The soil around the area is very poor, and much of the cleared land had became semi-barren heath - so this is a very clear act of reforesting.

The purpose of the reforesting was to provide the Norman nobility, particularly the king, an area to conduct hunting of game and deer.

It might not be the first reforestation effort in history - but it certainly predates the Karst.

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My first thought was Japan. I found no clear reforestation, but there was a early switch to forest management.

The Problem

Japan had a serious deforestation problem 300 years ago, a consequence of unsustainable forest use that had been building up for a long time (Totman 1989). As long ago as 600-850 AD, construction booms in Nara and Heian, along with demands of the ruling elite for timber to supply armies and build castles and religious monuments, had caused serious deforestation in the Kinai region. Forest use was "exploitative". Timber and other forest products where taken without regard to replenishing the supply.

... By 1670 the population had increased to nearly thirty million, and with the exception of Hokkaido, the old growth forests had been completely logged. The supply of timber and other forest products was running out. Soil erosion, floods, landslides, and barren lands (genya) were becoming ever more common. Japan was headed for ecological disaster.

...

Japan responded to this environmental challenge with a "positive tip" from unsustainable to sustainable forest use that began around 1670 (Totman 1989)... but villages started responding to the forest crisis by refining the management of satoyama secondary forests for subsistence needs (McKean 1982, 1986), and for the first time, planting sugi and hinoki plantations to help satisfy timber demands of the rulers.

Source: http://ecotippingpoints.org/our-stories/indepth/japan-community-forest-management-silviculture.html

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