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Managing oak forests

Forests, of course, do not need to be farmed, be they do need to be overseen and managed if they are to preserve their diversity and produce quality oak. Management calls for close observation, protecting the forest, working to keep it in good condition, and enhancing its growth. Therefore, cutting down trees is both normal and necessary. This not only provides oak for barrels, but also encourages development and renews trees.

Since the late 17th century (1669, the Colbert decree), tree harvesting is managed on a very long-term basis. Since then, the ONF (Office Nationale des Forêts) has looked after the largest and most beautiful oak forests in Europe.

A complete regeneration cycle lasts about 210-240 years. That is to say, the time from the planting of an acorn to the felling of a tree takes over two centuries.