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What are the FSC requirements for chain of custody in planting projects?

Updated: Feb 20

On our reforestation projects in Costa Rica we put in a lot of test plots.  These are areas randomly assigned (pick a number between 20 and 50—then take that number of paces north.  Then pick another number between 30 and 60 and go that number of paces west.   That is where you put the center stake in the test plots.   Test plots can be different sizes.   Larger ones provide more accurate data.  We have lots of test plots in different areas/reforestation projects so we can compare data.   We measure key things such as:   total height of tree, commercial height of log (what we will haul to the sawmill to process into lumber/veneer), diameter at chest height and basal area=the total flat surface of all the logs if cut off.

Diamond Teak Trees being pruned
Teak Trees being pruned

Reforestation projects need to have trees close enough together to compete for sunlight.   But not too tightly space so that the sun does not hit the ground—this is a very important process by which organic materials = natural fertilizer breaks down.


If there are problems in a reforestation project (this will be another blog) then we can take soil samples to see if key nutrients are missing.  For example, we have used organic calcium carbonate to improve soils.  This process can take many years.   And when you harvest the trees if you take too much of the bark and other materials out of the project then this can make the soils less fertile.


Diamond Teak FSC Certification
Diamond Teak FSC Certification

We have some proprietary things we do to estimate the value of a tree based on it’s shape and characteristics.  I always like to joke around with our reforestation engineers and nurseries to see if they can get us trees that will grow in a square shape without any sapwood/white wood as that would increase yields greatly.  Did you know that a 10 inch diameter tree has only ¼ or 25% of the volume as a 20 inch diameter tree?


In order to get the highest quality wood we need straight trees without any branches or pruning scars.  With teak we do as many as seven or eight thinnings over the lifespan of a project—minimum 25 years but we have some teak that is 50 years old on our projects.  And trees will be pruned dozens of times to ensure that they have clear, straight grain and higher quality lumber.   Over our 30+ year history working in reforestation in the tropics we have learned a lot. We can make trees more figured while guaranteeing that they grow well. Some of our videos on youtube include test plot data and details and well as more info on our reforestation efforts.

Have a great day!  Kevin

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