Current issue: 54(2)
In Nordic countries, tree planting of seedlings is mainly performed during spring and early summer. Interest has increased in extending the planting window throughout the unfrozen growing season. This study compared the success of one-year-old spring, summer and autumn plantings in practical forestry in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in southern and central Finland. Planting success was based on the number of viable seedlings per hectare relative to a species-specific target density. The influence of different factors to poor planting results were determined, including quality of site preparation and planting, and sources of natural damage. Overall, in Norway spruce, 85, 69 and 84% and in Scots pine 53, 55 and 40% of spring, summer and autumn plantings succeeded. In Norway spruce, the planting results were consistent between the southern and central regions, whereas in Scots pine, the success was slightly lower in the south. The poor work quality and a low density of appropriate planting spots, contributed to poor planting results, regardless of planting season, region or tree species. Considering different damages, especially mammal damage contributed to the failure of Scots pine spring plantings, whereas in summer plantings, corresponding single failure reason could not be identified. Based on our findings, extending the planting season of Norway spruce could be recommended in both regions. For Scots pine, there is still significant uncertainty about the success of summer and autumn plantings, partially due to the limited number of plantings available for analyses.
The Nordic and Baltic countries are in the frontline of replacing fossil fuel with renewables. An important question is how forest management of the productive parts of this region can support a sustainable development of our societies in reaching low or carbon neutral conditions by 2050. This may involve a 70% increased consumption of biomass and waste to meet the goals. The present review concludes that a 50–100% increase of forest growth at the stand scale, relative to today’s common level of forest productivity, is a realistic estimate within a stand rotation (~70 years). Change of tree species, including the use of non-native species, tree breeding, introduction of high-productive systems with the opportunity to use nurse crops, fertilization and afforestation are powerful elements in an implementation and utilization of the potential. The productive forests of the Nordic and Baltic countries cover in total 63 million hectares, which corresponds to an average 51% land cover. The annual growth is 287 million m3 and the annual average harvest is 189 million m3 (65% of the growth). A short-term increase of wood-based bioenergy by utilizing more of the growth is estimated to be between 236 and 416 TWh depending on legislative and operational restrictions. Balanced priorities of forest functions and management aims such as nature conservation, biodiversity, recreation, game management, ground water protection etc. all need consideration. We believe that these aims may be combined at the landscape level in ways that do not conflict with the goals of reaching higher forest productivity and biomass production.