appropriate assessment Appropriate Assessment (AA) is the process and documentation associated with the statutory requirement under the EU Habitats and Species Directive.
biodiversity The variety of life in an area, including the variety of gene pools, species, plant and animal communities, ecosystems, and the processes through which individual organisms interact with one another and their environments.
brash mats Cut branches spread along the route where forest machinery will be driving to reduce soil damage.
buffer An area of non-invasive trees or other land use of sufficient width to protect semi-natural woodland from significant invasion by seed from a nearby non-native source. Buffers are also used to protect the receiving environment, such as a water course, from the effects of activities such as harvesting within the forest.
canopy The more or less continuous cover of branches and foliage formed collectively by the crowns of adjacent trees and other woody growth.
clearfell the harvest of all the trees in an area. Clearfelling is often used to aid species whose seedlings require full sunlight to grow well.
conifer any tree that produces seeds in cones. See softwood.
continuous cover forestry the use of silvicultural systems whereby the forest canopy is maintained at one or more levels without clear felling.
coupe An area of woodland that has been or is planned for clear felling.
cultural features Archaeological sites, historic buildings and heritage landscapes including ancient woodlands.
deciduous shedding or losing leaves annually; the opposite of evergreen. Trees such as oak, birch, maple, ash, cherry, and larch are deciduous.
ecology the study of interactions between organisms and their environment.
ecosystem organisms and the physical factors that make up their environment.
environmental appraisal Generic term for the process of assessing the impact of plans or operations on the environment.
environmental impact assessment Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the process and documentation associated with the statutory requirement under the EU Environmental Assessment Directive.
evergreens plants that retain foliage year round.
forest management plan A long term outline planting or felling and regeneration plan (20 years or more) which takes account of the environmental characteristics of the woodland as well as the management of the growing stock. The first few years planting, felling, regeneration and environmental management plans are shown in detail. For woodlands managed by Coillte, this type of plan is referred to as a Forest Management Plan.
forestry The science and art of managing woodlands.
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Geographic Information System is a computer system for the efficient input, storage, analysis and retrieval and representation of maps and related data.
habitat The native environment of an animal or plant.
hardwoods a general term encompassing broadleaf, deciduous trees.
harvest the cutting, felling, and gathering of forest timber.
landscape unit An area of broadly homogeneous landscape character.
long term retention Trees retained for environmental benefit significantly beyond the age or size generally adopted by the woodland enterprise.
natural regeneration Young plants produced from natural seed fall or from stump or root sprouting in openings formed after existing plants are cut, burned or blown over.
open space In a woodland this includes streams, ponds and well laid-out roads and rides. In the wider context, this would be any areas left unplanted.
productive forest area This is the area solely occupied by trees, where deductions have been made for gaps in the canopy. The purpose of productive area estimation is to normalize mapped sub-compartment areas for production forecasting.
pulpwood wood suitable for use in paper manufacturing.
regeneration Renewal of woodland through sowing, planting, or natural regeneration.
restocking Replacing felled areas by sowing seed, planting or natural regeneration.
rotation the number of years required to grow a stand to a desired size or maturity.
sawlog a log large enough to be sawed economically on a sawmill. Sawlogs are usually at least 8 inches in diameter at the small end.
silviculture The techniques of tending and regenerating woodlands, and harvesting their physical products.
site the combination of biotic, climatic, topographic, and soil conditions of an area.
softwood any tree in the gymnosperm group, including pines, hemlocks, larches, spruces, firs, and junipers. Softwoods often are called conifers although some, such as junipers and yews do not produce cones.
stand a group of forest trees of sufficiently uniform species composition, age, and condition to be considered a homogeneous unit for management purposes.
stocking the number and density of trees in a forest stand. Stands are often classified as understocked, well-stocked or overstocked.
thinning A cut made to harvest excess or unwanted trees in an immature stand. This cutting reduces the stand to a recommended stocking level and is made primarily to accelerate or maintain the rate of diameter increment and secondarily to improve the average form of the trees that remain and harvest usable fibre. The harvest of excess trees should remove existing and predicted mortality in addition to improving the growing conditions for the remaining stems.
windthrow hazard classification This is a measurement of windthrow risk and is an important factor in estimating site productivity.
windthrow Uprooting of trees by the wind. Windthrow is common among shallow-rooted species and in areas where cutting has reduced stand density or with impeded drainage.
yield class The potential productive capacity of a forest, measured in cubic metres per hectare per year. Yield classes are divided into steps of two cubic metres per hectare. Thus a stand of yield class 14 has a maximum mean annual increment of 14m3 per hectare per year.