As of 2016, Comaco Forestal’s timberland reaches the amount of 122.103 hectares, including forest plantations and Native forests, located in areas of central and southern Chile.
From this estate, 28.576 hectares are intended to forest plantations, which are distributed as follows:
Location: Comaco Forestal ‘s timberland is strategically distributed in areas which facilitate transportation to the most important ports in Chile.
Radiata Pine forests
The Radiata Pine forest is characterized by its high productivity, which on average reaches 22 m3 per hectare per year, with a growth rate up to 4 times higher than the northern hemisphere. The aim is to maximize the economic return of the forest, for which an intensive silvicultural management is performed consisting of pruning treatments at different heights, in order to get pieces free of knots, which are of a higher commercial value, to be used in the remanufacturing industry.
Pruning is accompanied by thinning operations, to concentrate the site potential wood volume in the best trees of the forest. The industrial logs which are not pruned, are used as structural timber as well as a complement to the production of finished or semifinished products with a high added value, (parts and pieces of furniture, doors, mouldings, among others etc.). Logs of smaller diameter and lesser quality are intended for the pulp and paper industry.
Radiata Pine Production Process
1. Setting up:
Ground preparation for planting. At this stage selected Radiata Pine seedlings are planted on previously prepared soil and nutrients are applied in the soil to support plant growth.
2. Silvicultural Treatments:
Pruning of lower branches of the trees is performed to obtain wood free of knots. Trees of lesser growth or defective are thinned, in order to increase the availability of light, water, nutrients and space for the best individuals. Therefore the ones which are left can grow better producing wider diameter logs.
It consists in the felling of the forest when it has reached its economic rotation age. Once the harvest has been concluded, logs are sorted out by quality, lengths and diameters, in order to obtain different products: Prunned logs, sawlogs and pulplogs, for different industrial uses.
After harvesting is over, the remaining forest land is replanted and a new Radiata Pine forest is re established, closing the continuos production cycle.
The Eucalyptus forest represents 74% of Comaco Forestal’s plantations. In these forests two varieties are planted: Eucalyptus Globulus and Eucalyptus Nitens, which productivity reaches 20 to 30 m3/hectare/year for the first variety and 30 to 40 m3/hectare/year for second one. These values of average annual growth are significantly higher than the growth rates of plantations in the northern hemisphere
Once the trees reach the optimal rotation age, they are harvested and the timber from these plantations transformed into high quality short fibre woodchips to be used as raw material in the pulp and paper industry.
Eucalyptus Production Process
1. Setting up:
Ground preparation for planting. At this stage the Eucalyptus Globulus or Nitens seedlings are planted in the previously prepared soil and nutrients are applied in the soil to support plant growth.
2. Silvicultural Treatments:
During the growth of the forest all silvicultural necessary treatments are done in order to obtain the best possible forest at its harvest age, such as pest control, the handling of seedlings, etc.
As well as constantly working on the construction and maintenance of roads and firebreaks to prevent forest fires.
It consists in the felling of the forest when it has reached its economic rotation age in order to obtain wood which is transformed into logs and wood chips.
4. Replanting or vegetative regeneration:
Immediately after harvesting, a new cycle is reinitiated by either planting new Eucalyptus seedlings or vegetative regeneration of those trees that have been harvested.
The Native Forest-present in the VIII and IX Geographical Regions of Chile- is mainly made up of Roble, Raulí and Coigue. Complemented by secondary species such as Radal, Lingue and Avellano. In the X geographical Region the Native Forest consists of Coigüe, Tepa, Mañío and Tineo, among others.
In some section of the areas covered by Native Forest, species such as Araucaria and Cypress are found, species which have been declared natural monuments and therefore are protected by law. These areas are identified on our maps as Forest with a High Conservation Value since they are part of our national patrimony.
Sustainable Management of Native Forests
Native Forests have received special attention when enacting environmental policies concerning the protection of natural resources such as soil, water, air and species, whose conservation is of interest to the country. For this reason, national and international regulations have been issued to protect the forest and are mainly aimed at the conservation and the responsible use of it, i.e. one that leads to a sustainable management of Native Forests.
The native forest regenerates naturally; therefore its sustainable management requires that several silvicultural practices be accomplished, such as thinning trees in poor condition, sanitary cuttings, seed trees selection and soil preparation to allow a successful natural regeneration. As a result of these interventions, trees with higher growth potential will develop in the most favourable conditions, with better sun light, nutrients and lesser competition from other trees in the forest. Natural regeneration and sound silvicultural practices will produce a forest of excellence, preserving its many environmental advantages and wildlife protection.
Additionally, since the implementation of forestry activities in general requires the construction of access roads to the various places in the forest, these roads and/or trails are an important tool to safeguard the Native Forest against forest fire and illegal logging. In the event of a forest fire, it will be easier to transport forest fire fighters and their equipments and, in case of illegal logging caused by third parties, it allows its prevention and fast detection.