The Szombathely Forestry Holding is owned 100% by the state and has been operating as an autonomous enterprise since 1st January 1992.
The Company is working in Vas county, the area of the county is 333 584 ha, out of which the forest and timber areas amount to 97 208 ha (29 %), there are further 98 653 ha (30%) forests and other parts which are designed to be forests, thus Vas county is one of the most forested counties in Hungary.
Our company is working on the largest part of state-owned forests with a total area of 46 998 ha.
The main activities are forest management and hunting, as well as the public welfare and touristic services related to forest management.
Presenting the natural features and unique characteristics:
Our Company is working amidst varied climatic, topographic and places of production.
The annual amount of precipitation varies between 600-830 mm, 64% of which falls in the breeding period. The annual mean temperature is 9-10 ºC.
Climatic conditions vary just like the characteristics, the most defining one is the hornbeam-oak climate (85%), but in the western part of the county, in the Kőszeg-mountain, there is a beech-climate (8%), in the eastern part we have a Turkey-sessile oak climate (7%).
Topographic conditions also vary with a sea level between 120-883 metres.
Geological conditions are again varying. The bed-rock consists of river-bed alluvium, Alpine rubble and phyllite from the high-mountains, on which a rather bound, clayey soil can be found. As far as genetic soil-types are concerned, there is a low percentage of skeletal and alluvial soils and Turkey oak soils with adverse characteristics (4%). The largest areas are covered by brown forest-soils: sour (5%), pseudo-gley (41%), lessivage (24%) and rust-brown (18%). There is a small ratio of brown earth, loess steppe and meadow soils. Hydrological conditions are characterised by - apart from the Rába-floodplains affected by an abundance of water impact and the valleys of smaller brooks - conditions independent of water impacts and a varying water supply.
Presentation of the forests that our Company is managing:
There are 44084 hectares of sub-compartments and a total of 2914 ha of other sub-compartments (trenches, clearings, roads ...). From the point of view of protection 34% of forest sub-compartments are primarily destined to be protected, 2% serve public welfare purposes, while the rest are economic forests.
Concerning the modus operandi of forests the ratio of forests where shelterwood cutting (528 ha), transforming (4275 ha) and logging (751 ha) is 13% and there are forests where cutting is done. In the protected and welfare-purpose serving natural, nature-like, or progeny forests (17 752 ha) this data amounts to 4 290 ha, or 24 %.
The age-distribution of forests can be regarded as balanced - with the exception of the somewhat underrepresented areas of the age group 41-50. Until the age group 71-80 the ratio of regions belonging to the 10-year groups is between 8-13 %. At the same time the area of populations above the age of 100 is a remarkable 2 780 ha, however no striking growth cannot be forecast.
The logo of the Szombathely Forestry Holding shows a spruce bough and the foliage of an oak tree, which symbolise the forests managed by foresters from Vas county. Varying natural and region-related characteristics there is a mix of tree species in the forests. Pines and spruces cover 37% of forests. Oaks represent 30% of leafy trees, followed by Turkey oaks (10%), hornbeams (8%), beeches (7%), acacias (5%), other hard- (2%) and soft-leaf (1 %) trees. As a result of the nature-like forest-management the ratio of oaks increased, while the one of pines decreased. The decay of spruces because of deathwatch beetles is typical for the entire managed region. The renewal of logged spruces is primarily done by oak and pine populations.
This direction is favourable because of forest protection and the aspect of changed region as well, because forests with many tree species are more resistant against pests, while single-species pine forests are very vulnerable.
The relation of forests and nature protection:
There are 14342 ha (31%) under natural protection limitation (National Park, Area under Regional Protection, area protected by self-governments and areas under other protection). Partly in conformity with the above mentioned facts, 18158 ha (39%) of forests managed by the Company were designated to be Natura 2000 areas. Forest management can be done in these areas only under certain nature protection limitations. Logging cannot be done on large areas and there are time-span limitations almost everywhere. In case of the occurrence of protected, or strictly protected animal, or plant species special regulations must be taken into consideration.