CNPF Network (R&D & forestry techniques extension)

CNPF Network : CNPF Experiments Network (Research and developement & forestry techniques extension )


CNPF Network : CNPF Experiments Network (Research and developement & forestry techniques extension )
Coordination : Service Expérimentations à Bordeaux, France; Sites spread over the whole national territory
Website website in maintenance !

The CNPF Experiments Network brings together all of the CNPF's research & development and extension experimental sites (CRPF regional delegations and the Institute for Forest Development). These sites are mainly located in private forests.

This network has two major objectives:

  • to evaluate innovations in forestry techniques, silvicultural itineraries or forest plant materials (species, provenances, cultivars) in terms of territorial representativeness;
  • to train and inform private forest stakeholders (owners, managers, forest operators, advisers) on current and future forestry techniques.

A wide variety of experiments compose this network in terms of age, species and techniques studied and experimental design (from simple comparisons to more complex studies).

New experiments are set up every year depending on the need for local technical references, or related to national programmes.

The basic principle of this network is to carry out simply designed experiments, which are easy to implement and monitor (limited factors studied, number of individuals and variables measured and monitoring schedules adapted to the objectives). This principle of simplicity stems directly from the CNPF's experimental needs and resources. Territorial representativeness and monitoring over time require a multiplicity of sites maintained over the medium and long term.

All of the data from these experiments (site metadata and raw tree data) are stored in the CNPF's ILEX experiments database. This client-server database currently contains more than 2000 georeferenced sites. Many other sites are still being registered.

Study themes include more than 100 precise species (Douglas fir, poplar, maritime pine, robinia, chestnut, etc.), silviculture (cleaning, thinning, density, etc.), maintenance operations, climate change (arboretums, adaptive silviculture), etc.

Services offer

The services provided by this network are in line with the CNPF's missions as an actor in forest development at the service of private forests. The CNPF gives advice to forest owners and stakeholders in the sector and provides information and training, via the competence of its team.

The network provides technical knowledge and instructions for various silvicultural techniquesas well as training and extension services. Private owners and other stakeholders in the sector are kept informed through information meetings, technical publications (articles, brochures, guides, books), training (FOGEFOR and others) and technical advice during the preparation of forest management plans.

These experimental sites are well identified and characterized (stand types, site conditions, silvicultural regime, history) and can also support complementary studies or research on themes other than those that led to their initial establishment.


The sites are set up and managed by permanent teams made up of specialised technicians and engineers in the regional CRPF delegations and branches of the Institute for Forestry Development. National coordination is ensured by the CNPF's experimentation network.

The local technicians provide an essential link with forest owners and ensure monitoring in the field.

Depending on the needs and programs, the CRPF also calls upon non-permanent technicians and engineers and end-of-study trainees to implement and monitor the experiments.

Operations and data access

For a given site, a need is identified, a decision is taken to install a new site, the site is set up, monitoring  and data collection begin, and finally, the results are analysed.

Setting up a site is a more or less cumbersome stage (and can take from one to several days depending on the complexity of the protocol). The preparatory phase can last several months (making contact, taking decisions, preparing the ground).

If monitoring is over a short period of time (generally 1 day maximum), recurring surveys are included in the programme defined by the follow-up protocol. This surveys may be spread over several years, even 10 years or more.

The use of the results obtained depends on the programme and the means of disseminating the target knowledge. As with monitoring, results may be used over several years.

Access to the experimental sites and the data is directly linked to the fact that the plots are located in private forests. Whether physical access the experimental plots or access to data concerning identified private property, it is subject to authorisation by the owner for specifically defined use.

Data access and cost

The physical access unit is the experimental site.


Available measurements

For some sites: weather station, wildlife fence

Published data sets

Paillassa, Eric; Hubele, Johann, 2022, "Tree size data from a Populus trial of the CNPF network",, Portail Data INRAE, V1 fence

Modification date: 16 August 2023 | Publication date: 12 June 2018 | By: Eric Paillassa (CNPF) - Juin 2018