Japan Photo Essay: Hinoki Forest Management

A photo essay depicting some elements of selective management of a Hinoki Cypress forest on a mountainside in rural Japan. The main idea is to reduce the density of the trees to promote healthy growth but there are several additional benefits as well.

Secondary goals of management include using some of the cut or standing dead trees to provide slope stability, opening areas of canopy to encourage small Oaks used for cultivating shitake mushrooms, and using the excess Hinoki as firewood and structural poles.

Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
The foot of the mountain path, a bamboo grove visible over the first rise.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
Madake (timber bamboo) groves do not provide much slope stability and should be constrained to lower, flatter areas.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
Across the wild boar fence an unmanaged area illustrates the density issues of these forests.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
This area has been thinned in the past and allows more light in.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
Some of the deadwood is supported by stumps to form stepped retaining walls on the slope.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
This steep area is above a village and slope control is important in the rainy season.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
As an area is opened up the branches form a carpet to prevent rapid soil erosion.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
Beautiful scented Hinoki Cypress rounds ready to be taken down the mountain as new light streams in and encourages other local species on the forest floor.
Hinoki forest management in Hyogo, Japan
A view from down the slope showing retaining walls and fresh cut logs to the left and rounds being moved down the mountain on the right side. Homes are located directly below this area.

Learn more about satoyama or see picturesque views of inaka landscapes.

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