G.Info:State of the Environment - Georgia - Forests

Forest Resources

Georgian State Forests occupy 2253.4 thousand ha, from which the wooded land covers 2160.9 thousand ha with an almost 98 % of forest located on the mountain slopes.

The forest cover reaches an elevation of 2300 - 2500 m up the sea level. From entire forests 76.5 % grows above 500 m 80 % of which is on the steep slope of mountains.

Diversity of tree species in the forests is quite rich - approximately 400 tree and scrub species could be found here. About 81 per cent of forest are occupied by beech, Georgian and high mountain oak, hornbeam, chestnut, ash-tree, maple and other single and mixed species groves. Another 19 per cent of forest are occupied by coniferous groves (Caucasian silver fir, east fir, Caucasian and Sosnowsky pine).

An entire area of vergin forests is about 500-600 thousand ha. They are located at those places of Great and Minor Caucasus where the access is restricted, because of its complicated topography.

The forests occupy 40 % of County's territory. The qualitative consistence and productivity of the forest has been degraded and decreased. Worsening conditions in forests lead to the reduction and sometimes even caused loss in the functionality of forests. As a result, there are many cases of accidents from avalanches and landslides in the mountainous regions of western Georgia: Svaneti, Achara, etc. On the other hand, the loose of functional characteristics of forest is the reason for massive spreading of forest diseases.

The demands of country on timber is not satisfied, because the forests are mainly located in mountainous regions with steep slopes. Besides, large portions of the forests are severely degraded. Average stock of forest resources per unit area is approximately 300 m3/ha.

The timber stock could be as high as 1600-2800 m3/ha at certain places and the annual growth rate is 10- 15 m3/ha. Such a high rate of productivity could be explained first of all by optimal natural conditions for growth and development (climate, soil) and also by the biological features of forest formation (genesis, peculiarities of natural renewal processes, etc.). Non-timber resources of the forests has not yet been fully investigated.

Forestry Management 
Exploitation of Forests