According to the China’s Sixth Forest Inventory Report
(covering 1999-2003), China’s forested area was 175
million hectares with the forest stock volume at 12.45
million m³. Forest coverage was estimated at 18%. Of the
total forested area, the area of tree plantations in China
was 53 million hectares. China’s plantation area was
expected to expand rapidly due to high domestic demand.
Plantations play an important role in restoring and
rebuilding the total forest ecosystem. They supply wood
and non-wood products and help improve the ecoenvironment.
The country’s plantations contain an
estimated 1.5 billion m³ of standing volume and account
for around 12% of the county’s total forest volume. Of the
total plantation area, the forest area was 32.29 million
hectares (60.64% of the total plantation area); cash tree
crops, 19.31 million hectares (36.26%); and bamboo
plantations, 1.65 million hectares (3.1%).
Of the standing forest plantations, the productive
plantation area was 23.18 million hectares with a standing
volume of 1.15 billion m³. Protective plantations covered
an area of 8.12 million hectares and fuelwood plantations
covered an area of 483,300 hectares (4 million m³ by
volume). The area of forest for special uses is 514,600
hectares, with a forest volume of 31.12 million m³.
Plantations for timber production accounted for the largest
area and volume and these plantations account for around
70% of the total plantation area.
Plantation resources have been mainly distributed in the
south of the country and mainly collectively owned
forests. The following five provinces (regions) account for
the bulk of the plantation areas, namely Guangxi,
Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian and Sichuan. The total area
and volume of these five provinces accounted for 37.2%
and 41.76% of the country’s total plantation area and
volume, respectively. The main plantation species were
Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata), Masson’s pine
(Pinus massoniana) and poplar (Populus spp.), these three
species accounting for some 60% of all plantation areas in
Source:ITTO Tropical Timber MarketReport