Training Forest Enterprise Masaryk Forest Křtiny (TFE) is an organizational part of Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno and a special-purpose facility of its Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology. The mission fulfilled by the Training Forest Enterprise since its foundation in 1923 consists in the following three main activities:
Forest land property of MZLU Brno has an area of 10,265 ha (with a total MZLU land property area being 10,492 ha). Forests form a continuous complex immediately linking with the northern limits of the Moravian metropolis of Brno and reaching as far as to the town of Blansko. The forests are situated at altitudes ranging from 210 to 575 m a.s.l. and are characteristic with a variety of natural conditions, which predetermined the establishment of the special-purpose facility of the university. Mapping of this relatively small area dominated mostly by mixed woods with 46% of coniferous- and 54% of deciduous tree species revealed 116 forest types situated in 4 forest altitudinal vegetation zones. Mean annual temperature of 7.5 °C and mean annual precipitation of only 610 mm are limiting factors. Topography is very broken with deep-incised valleys and glens, especially those of the Svitava River and the Křtinský potok Brook. Parent rock is formed by granodiorites, Culmian grawacks and limestone. About a third of the TFE area is situated within the Protected Landscape Area of the Moravian Karst.
Main local tree species are spruce, pine, larch for conifers and beech and oak for broadleaves. Showing signs of regeneration, fir is gradually returning to the forest stands. Excellent growth characteristics are observed in larch whose local population is known as Adamovsky larch. Mixed stands of beech and oak are extremely high performing and their standing volume at adult age reaches over 1,000 m3.ha-1. TFE traditions consist in the application of mild forest management methods with a minimum of clearcuts and with the use of natural regeneration. The shelterwood system is successfully used for beech and oak, on acidic sites and even in spruce stands. There is also a remarkable attempt at a conversion to selection forest.
A range of long-term research tasks is implemented within the framework of paedagogical cooperations linked to international programmes of the European Union, Russia, China, Latin America, etc. Some forest stands and forest production facilities are used for these purposes as special demonstration objects such as research thinning plots in beech, Norway spruce, fir and mixed forest stands, provenance plots of European larch, Norway spruce, silver fir and lodgepole pine, three gene pools (beech, oak and fir) and seed orchards of European larch, Scots pine, Norway spruce, European aspen and mountain elm used in the forestry and landscaping study programmes. The so far published data and research results can be always used for work and study. Great attention is paid to the refurbishment of existing- and to the building of new teaching facilities of primary and secondary wood production for students of timber engineering such as a centre for the rational processing of wood mass as a renewable raw material. The main principle aims at own raw material processing and at products with added value.
An entirely exceptional position is enjoyed by TFE in the fulfilment of aesthetic and educational functions of the forest. There are whole forest stands with the natural species composition that were left without any intervention in the past for the purpose. These stands were later used for a gradual building of the existing network of 19 nature reserves with a total area of 862 hectares, i.e. about 8% of the total TFE area. The arboreta in Řícmanice, Habrůvka and Křtiny are visited both by students and by people seeking a peaceful and pleasant forest environment. Natural beauties of local forests are intentionally maintained and improved and this is how various places and objects have come to existence that make outings of hikers from nearby towns and villages more attractive. There are viewpoints on elevations which are carefully looked after. Forest glades established in the complex of continuous forests are kept with care. Exotic tree species have been planted around the glades to make their surroundings more colourful and attractive. Forest springs are sought and looked after and new fountains are built. Selected places in the forests were chosen for monuments of the Forest Pantheon. This set of more than seventy monuments, fountains and memorial tablets devoted to distinguished foresters, artists who devoted their works to nature, but also to game, trees and forests themselves is a real world rarity.
The management of forest stands requires a good accessibility for the means of transport and mechanization and this is why a new forest road network is being gradually constructed which links up with the spatial arrangement of the forests. Cableway and tractor terrains are being consistently separated by placing forest roads along the terrain dividing lines. Density of permanent forest roads in the broken hilly terrain is 20.1 m.ha-1. Material for repairs and construction of the forest roads is supplied from a quarry in Lelekovice, owned by the TFE.
Mechanization of silvicultural and logging operations is significantly contributed to by the Research station of forest mechanization in Křtiny, which is an organizational unit of the Training Forest Enterprise. Results of its research and subsequent manufacture such as forest cableways LARIX Types 550, 3T, Kombi and Hydro, motor-driven cableway carriage MOKO, reel planters, nursery machines, soil scarifiers, winches, pulleys and chain chokers proved to be very efficient in the forestry practice and are also important trading commodities both at home and abroad.
Harvested raw timber is further processed at a sawmill in Olomučany, erected by TFE and equipped with two band saws, a framesaw to cross-cut lower-diameter roundwood, a Baljer-Zembrod cut-to-length line, three sawnwood seasoning kilns and a steaming chamber. The secondary timber production facility in Josefov makes scantlings, dimension stock, battenboards, matched lumber, packaging material and pallets, and there is also the technology of infinite sill installed there. Last but not least, using a software developed by MiTek Canada the centre in Brno-Útěchov makes wooden ties and roof structures by the technology of gusset plates including the production of large-span wooden structures (GREIM BAU), joinery products and furniture to order.
The centre of forest nurseries in Olomučany produces forest tree transplants and grown-up greenery for afforestation and outplanting both for the Enterprise and for other clients. Self-contained centres for cross-cutting, wagoning and timber transport, workshops for the repair of forest machines and automobiles including a car-wash line, a tire repair shop and an own petrol pump station are situated in Adamov. The Centre of Construction Works in Křtiny provides services in the repair and construction of forest roads and all kinds of masonry, building and craft works. A special centre of Forest Production can provide all kinds of logging and silvicultural works to order from external customers, including landscaping and landscape protection.
With its methods of managing forest stands, forest aesthetics, numerous special-purpose and demonstration facilities, modern manufacture and extensive database of research results the Training Forest Enterprise has become a destination for numerous excursions, practical training and short-term attachments of both experts, students and other visitors from home and abroad. This corresponds very well with the fact that the Enterprise was awarded the Woodmark FSC Certificate for ecological production and management system in 1997, the PEFC Certificate in 2003, and later on also the C-o-C and IKEA certificates. Thanks to its modern equipment and excellent long-term results the Training Forest Enterprise Masaryk Forest Křtiny is referred to in the University Law no. 111/1998 Gaz. as a prominent facility for paedagogical and scientific activities of students not only from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry Brno but also for university students and forest experts from Czech Republic, European Union and other countries worldwide.