|B.M. Lushaj , V. Tabaku
|chestnut massive, Tropoja, fruit thinning, biological control
The chestnut massive of Tropoja district is one among the biggest massifs in the Balkan region with a total surface of 2408.5 ha.
It covers the city of Bajram Curri that is located between the Alps of Albania.
This agro-forest type is present mostly in North-Eastern Albania, at altitudes of 300 (350)-400 to 1000-1200 (1250) m a.s.l. and rarely at lower altitudes.
It is characterized by the presence of chestnut trees (Castanea sativa Mill.), a species introduced and encouraged by man, mainly for fruit production and after that for timber production.
The major objectives of suitable agro-forest management of the chestnut in the past, present and future times are, firstly, to rejuvenate the over-matured sweet chestnut massive by converting it from forest stands into an orchard for fruit and for timber production; and, secondly, to plant new orchards.
This means maximizing the productivity and quality of the chestnut trees to be harvested for fruit and for wood production and at the same time for numerous services, called “externalities”. A suitable agro-forest management system of the chestnut and its use is realised by means of fruit tree thinning, physical, mechanical, chemical and biological controls and other agro-forest activities. 10% of the chestnut trees and 11-13 trees per ha, respectively, were removed, and the number of the trees per ha decreased from 150-170 to 100-120. Between 50-70-year-old trees were mainly preserved.
Consequently, the quantity and the quality of the fruits and wood increased by carrying out all the activities in the over-matured sweet chestnut trees.
The infection of chestnut blight canker (Cryphonectria parasitica Murr.
Barr.) and other stress factors decreased from 10 to 13%, the dense crown decreased between 0.5-0.6, and the output of the fruit production increased by seven to eight times.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader (free software to read PDF files)