At present, 11 practices were surveyed within the districts of Sicani, Madonie and Calatino and are on going field works in the districts of Etna and Nebrodis.
By way of example in the drawings and pictures below is shown a practice consisting in the re-naturalization of an artificial forest, in prevalence of Mediterranean conifers, on Sicani. The area of Sicani Mountains is where, starting from the middle of the last century, was put in place the wider manmade afforestation with conifers of western Sicily as part of a policy for protecting the territory from hydrogeological disasters.
Many of these artificial woods show nowadays meaningful trend of consolidation of natural regeneration of native oak species (Quercus ilex, Quercus pubescens). Since the nineties some parts of these forests have been subject to measures designed to favor transformation towards newly formed woods predominantly made by native species with greater stability and resilience.
These practices consist in a gradual elimination of the artificial wood in order to allow an improvement of the ecological conditions of the forest in favor of naturalization processes already undergone. In principle 2-3 (or sometimes four) thinnings may be carried out, which occur at intervals of 4-5 years. The number and intensity of thinnings, however, depend on the degree of affirmation and abundance of natural regeneration.