This study describes the variation in the planting results for 3-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and 4-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) using direct seeding in privately-owned regeneration areas in southern Finland. The study material consists of operative forest regeneration quality management inventory areas from the years 2000–2006. The effect of both the regional and the administrative levels as well as ecological factors was modelled on the basis of the hierarchy structure forestry centre, Forest Owners’ Association (= FOA), forestry professional, regeneration area and sample plot. The major part of the variation occurred at the sample plot and regeneration area level. Particular attention was paid to observation of the clustered spatial distribution of Scots pine seedlings. The FOA and forestry professional levels explained 5% of the variation in Norway spruce planting and 11% of the variation in Scots pine direct seeding. Applied forest regeneration operations, site and soil characteristics were included in the fixed effects. In the planting of Norway spruce the most important factor explaining the regeneration result was soil preparation. Mounding produced better results than patching and disc trenching. The site and soil characteristics were other important factors in the operations. The selection of direct seeding of Scots pine on too fertile, fine textured or moist sites yielded poor results.