Resource Details

Helping forests to help themselves—Accelerating natural regeneration

Literature: Books or Book Chapters Available at NO COST Manuals, Guides, Reports

Elliott, S., Blakesley, D., Maxwell, J.F. et al. 2006, “Helping forests to help themselves—accelerating natural regeneration” in How to Plant a Forest: The Principles and Practice of Restoring Tropical Forests, The Forest Restoration Research Unit, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.


Chiang Mai University, Thailand


Available at no cost

Species Info

  • Afzelia xylocarpa
  • Aquilaria crassna
  • Balakata baccata
  • Eugenia fruticosa
  • Gmelina arborea
  • Melastoma malabathricum
  • Melia toosendan
  • Prunus cerasoides
  • Sarcosperma arboreum
  • Schleichera oleasa
  • Spondias axillaris
  • Trema orientalis
  • Trewia nudiflora


  • This chapter of How to Plant a Forest walks through the basic techniques of accelerated (or assisted) natural regeneration (ANR), describing when it is appropriate, when it should be combined with other techniques, how to increase the seed rain, and areas of needed research.
  • In order for ANR to be successful, an appropriate stem density of native saplings and seedlings and of live stumps must be present (250/rai), nearby seed trees should be present, seed-dispersing animals must be present, and fire and grazing must be controlled.
  • In cases where stem density and tree species diversity are low, ANR may be combined with planting.
  • Techniques include lodging (flattening) of grasses to prevent trees from being outcompeted, hand-pulling of weeds, mulching and fertilization of young trees, providing bird perches and bat boxes to increase seed rain, and direct seeding of certain species.
  • The authors recommend further research examining the potential for encouragement of stump regeneration, such as through use of hormones, mulches, or thinning of shoots; the effect of mycorrhizae on tree performance; and the effectiveness of using bat boxes for improved forest regeneration.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • General
  • Mainland Southeast Asia
  • Country

  • Thailand
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    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute