Our expertise

Probos has wide-ranging experience across the many aspects of forest management and the timber market.

Sustainable Timber

Our mission at Probos is a sustainable timber market. Strong demand from importing countries helps shape and support forest management and timber processing in producing countries.

Our activities in this area include:

  • collating and analysing trade data and undertaking market studies
  • supporting Dutch government and other stakeholders with their sustainable timber policies, resulting in the share of the Dutch market taken by sustainably sourced timber rising from 13% in 2005 to 83% in 2015
  • spreading this type of market support to Belgium, the EU and the rest of the world
  • supporting the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) and the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), bodies dedicated to growing the market for sustainably sourced tropical timber.

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Woody biomass

Probos views woody biomass as a vital economic resource for underpinning management and maintenance of forests, natural areas, landscapes and of urban woodland. Ensuring sustainable sourcing of that biomass is a core focus.

Our activities in this area include:

  • collating reliable data for market research and feasibility studies
  • encouraging cultivation of woody biomass crops, especially in association with other activities, such as agricultural development and water retention initiatives
  • exploring and promoting sustainable and cost-effective harvesting methods
  • developing practical guides and conducting studies
  • practical (field) demonstrations and workshops.

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Climate Smart Forestry

Probos promotes the concept of ‘Climate Smart Forestry’ (CSF) through development of practical tools and knowledge provision. We also assess the costs and benefits of CSF for forest managers and policy makers.

Examples of our CSF activities include:

  • development of an online CSF toolbox
  • pilot projects to promote agroforestry on free-range chicken farms
  • development of climate-smart regeneration options for forest stands affected by ash dieback
  • innovative afforestation projects, for instance on saline land and in association with architects and landscape designers
  • research into (new) high-end applications for native tree species

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Invasive species

Invasive species are an increasing problem in forests and the wider countryside, urban green spaces and gardens. Probos has extensive experience studying their effects and control methods. For example, we have studied Asian knotweed, red oak, black cherry and northern highbush blueberry. In 2011 we published a practical guide on how to control invasive plant species (in Dutch).

Our activities in this field include:

  • an extensive study on knotweed control methods (2013-2016) and a study on knotweed treatment with hot water or steam (2018 - 2019)
  • assessment of most suitable control methods for specific knotweed locations
  • supporting development of Dutch national knotweed control protocol
  • Support for Dutch website on control of Asian knotweed, www.bestrijdingduizendknoop.nl
  • Website support and development for the European Knotweed Control Network www.knotweedcontrolnetwork.eu

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Cultural heritage

Forests are a resource rich in cultural heritage. However, across Europe valuable forest sites and historical artefacts are being damaged in routine forest management activities. This usually occurs unintentionally due to a lack of attention, awareness or experience. Probos is a pioneering researcher and promoter of forest cultural heritage.

From our broad experience in The Netherlands since 2002, we can also help other countries protect forest cultural heritage through:

  • sharing best practices
  • consultancy
  • research programmes
  • training courses

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