The Eucalyptus plantations were initiated in 1988 with the main objective of producing the raw material for the production of paper pulp. They are located in 13.979,24 hectares distributed in two farms. One is located in San Carlos Municipality; and the other in El Pao Municipality Cojedes State. The first, in an area of 11.001,90 ha; and the second, in an area of 2.779,24 ha.
These areas are used as follows: 46% are used for eucalyptus, acacia and cashew trees; 7,17% for infrastructure, firewalls and roads: 14% for siylvopastoral systems; 12% for natural pastures; and 20% for natural reserves.
The Eucalyptus plantations are handled in 7 year growth cycles with new plantations or conduction of seedlings. During these periods, natural cares such as weed control, fertilizations, and pest control are carried out. These processes have made possible a production between 22 and 35 cubic meters of wood per hectare a year. Every year 86.000 cubic meters of timber from the eucalyptus plantations that are intended for pulp production for toilet paper, are harvested.
Since 2002 long distance rows of Eucalyptus plantations were implemented in the marginal areas of San Carlos farm that were occupied by pastures of Brachiária sp and natural gramineas, called silvopastoral plantations. Then, other agricultural farmings were incorporated among the plantations, such as rice, sorgum, corn, coffee, watermelon, beans, etc. This way, the agrosilvopastoral systems were developed.
Forest Plantations of Guatemala – PLANFORGUA is a company that belongs to GrandBay group and is located in Guatemala. It was created in 2008 to develop forest plantations for the production of renewable energy from eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus and Corymbias). PLANFORGUA is currently responsible for the introduction and rescue of different species of Eucalyptus in Guatemala. With this purpose a germoplasma bank with species of this genre and of Corymbias was established.
One of the company’s challenges is the generation of genetic materials that adapt to the different edaphological and climate conditions of Guatemala, from high cold areas, as plateau, to significantly water stressed regions such as Zacapa region.
Eucalyptus was the species chosen for the project because it is one of the most planted in the world for wood production for energy and pulp. It has a high variability for different conditions of soils and climates, rapid growth and high productivity.
The history of the introduction of Eucalyptus to Guatemala dates back to the early 20th Century with more than 150 species. The most planted were E. citriodora, E. smithii, E.staigeriana y E. globulus for oil production. They were used to develop a strong natural oil industry in Guatemala in the 1950s, but competition with synthetic oils ended up with the high natural oil production.
Today, there are Eucalyptus species in many locations of the country with a wide distribution in different areas, from dry weather to rainy weather and from low to high altitudes, 50 m to 2,700 m. This fact concentrates a high genetic variability strategically important for different types of projects such as pulp, sawmill, biomass and/or oil.
DEFORSA USA was created in 2010 as part of GrandBay Group. It is located in the United States of America and its main purpose is to develop technologies and genetic material for the production of renewable energy from forest plantations. Similarly, DEFORSA USA Company is responsible for the introduction of different species and procedence of Eucalyptus and Corymbia for evaluation, selection and recommendation of crops adapted to the conditions of the West Coast of the United States of America, as well as the development of genetic materials of native species as Sweetgum and as a result, timber production for cellulose, sawmill and organic mulch.
Today, the main challenge of the company is the generation of cold resistant genetic materials of Eucalyptus and Corymbia in the North of Florida and other states as Georgia and South Carolina.
DEFORSA USA has established a network of trials and alliances of cooperative works with FPC (Forest Productivity Cooperative from NCU State) whose main challenge is to concentrate growth characteristics and resistance to cold on the improved genotypes since the climatic variations of summer and winter are extremely strong. This is done with the purpose of making them resistant to temperatures higher than 40°C in summer and -17°C in winter, and even with snow. With this intention more than 100 species have been evaluated in Florida, such as E. benthamii, E. dunnii y E. vimilais, among others.