CREA (Council for agricultural research and economics) is a National Research Organization which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, with general scientific competence within the fields of agriculture, agro-industry, food, fishery and forestry.
In the WOODnat Project CREA is represented by the Research Centre for Forestry and Wood, mainly working on silviculture in Arezzo and on wood production outside forests in Casale Monferrato. The Centre deals with sustainable forest management and forest tree farming, with main specializations in silviculture, forest genetic resources management and improvement, conservation and improvement of forest biodiversity, multi-functionality, resilience and adaptability to global environmental changes, agroforestry and valorization on wood and nonwood goods production.
In the field of intensive wood production outside forests the CREA Resarch Centre for Forestry and Wood deals with fast-growing species (poplar, willow, acacia, eucalyptus), noble hardwoods (walnut, cherry, oaks, etc.) and Mediterranean conifers. Main activities: cultivation techniques (in particular for poplar and walnut in pure and mixed polycyclical plantation), breeding, sustainable pest and weed control, phytoremediation, harvesting, wood technology and economic assessment of productions.
CREA is involved in the WOODnat Project because it is interested in developing new plantation models and agroforestry systems more sustainable from the economic, social and environmental point of view but able to meet the needs of the wood industry.
The background information on the first generation planted forests (FGPF) and the results of the experimental trials established in Italy and Spain can help to understand the causes of success/failure of old walnut plantations and to define new mixed and pure plantation models, suitable cultural practices and management systems (from the nursery to the final harvesting). Defining a specific standardized walnut log classification and the production of an APP containing a comprehensive plantation management handbook represent specific tools for both farmers and industry with advantages for all the production chain.