The royal preserves of Portugal in the modern age: a proto-laboratory of forestry?

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Much has been studied about the destruction of trees for shipbuilding industry in Europe throughout the Modern Ages (ex. Radkau, 2012). In Portugal, the geography of pine trees and cork trees felling for that purpose within the 1600s and 1700s, is fairly known. On the contrary, little information has been produced for all the Modern Ages accounting forest regeneration or processes for managing trees in the Portuguese territory. And yet, renewal of forest was a concern in the royal preserves. Thus, the present work explores how the knowledge of managing trees and woodlands in Portugal in the 18th and 19th centuries, and maybe earlier, was drawn for timber production, regeneration of woodlands and plantation of trees for specific purposes. Considering the above, the following issues will be addressed in this article: Does the administration of royal preserves reveal practices on restoration, plantation and renewal of woodlands? What would be the importance of trees manipulation – pruning and coppicing – in the performance of woodlands, forests and parks management? Finally, could we assert that there were cycles of forests renewal as of tree-cutting in the royal preserves from 1700s onwards to the end of the Ancient Regime in Portugal (1834)?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationÁrvores, barcos e homens na península ibérica (séculos XVI-XVIII)
EditorsRosa Varela Gomes, Koldo Trápaga Monchet
Place of PublicationZaragoza
PublisherLibros Pórtico
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-84-7956-169-7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
EventÁrvores, barcos e homens na península ibérica (séculos XVI-XVIII) - Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 26 Jan 201727 Jan 2017


ConferenceÁrvores, barcos e homens na península ibérica (séculos XVI-XVIII)


  • 18th century
  • 19th century
  • shipbuilding industry
  • forest regeneration
  • management of trees and woodlands in Portugal


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