Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
The paper is a review on utilization of peatlands in forestry in the countries of boreal zone: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, the United States and the Soviet Union. First, the concept of peatlands, the types of peatlands throughout the zone are defined, and the use of natural peatlands is described. Finally, the drainage of peatlands for forestry purposes in the countries is reviewed. According to the statistics, a total of 13 million ha of peatlands have been drained in Fennoscandia and the Soviet Union.
When ditches are dug in forest drainage, smaller stones are removed by hand, but the larger ones require the use of explosives or stone lifting machinery. Use of explosives have been a more common method for the larger stones. Due to development of detonation methods, it has also been used for smaller stones than earlier.
The investigation was a time study comparing five different stone lifting machines. Time needed for different stages of the work was measured. The stages lasted approximately as long for all of the machines. However, the effectivity of the machines could not be determined, because the stones removed were not similar enough. Stone lifting machine Pekka appeared slightly more effective than the other four machines. It was also easy to assemble, disassemble and move.
The article includes a summary in German.
According to the second National Forest Survey, peatlands covered before the World War II 11,156,000 hectares, 32% of the land area of Finland. The early drainage of peatlands in 1700th century had aimed at preventing frost and increasing area of agricultural land. The experiences proved that drainage of wet forests was lucrative also in the point of view of forestry. The drainage of state-owned forest lands was promoted by the Crown Forest Committee in its report in 1900. The systematic drainage work in state lands begun in 1909. In the end of 1920s 500-700 km of ditches was dug annually.
The drainage of private lands begun after 1928, when forestry promotion work in private forests begun. By the end of 1950, 4,815 forest drainage projects had been approved by the Forest Service in the private lands. In addition, 286,000 ha of peatlands was drained on work organized by the central forest associations in 1930-1950, and 239,272 ha by timber companies in 1902-1950. The drained area totalled 755,892 ha. The area of drainable and drained peatland was estimated to be 4.4 million ha.
The article includes an abstract in English.
Silva Fennica Issue 69 includes presentations held in 1948-1950 in the fourth professional development courses, arranged for foresters working in the Forest Service. The presentations focus on practical issues in forest management and administration, especially in regional level. The education was arranged by Forest Service.
This presentation describes the history and present stage of forest drainage in Northern Finland. The first peatlands were drained in the area in 1909. About 6% of the 600,000 hectares of peatlands suitable for drainage was drained at the time in Perä-Pohjola. The areas to be drained are characteristically very large.
Silva Fennica issue 52 includes presentations held in professional development courses, arranged for foresters working in public administration in 1938. The presentations focus on practical issues in forest management and administration, especially in regional level. The education was arranged by Forest Service.
This presentation discusses forest management practices of drained peatlands and the allocation of responsibilities in draining of peatlands between district forest officers and forest officers responsible of drainage work. Problems has occured in those cases, when the process of draining had lasted so long that at the time of final assessment of the project the first ditches have already needed maintenance.
The aim of the study was to investigate how the drain network and dimensions of ditches change after the drainage. The studied drained peatlands were situated in the municipalities of Parkano and Virrat in Central Finland. The ditches were in average 15 and 17 years old. The depth and width in the surface of the peatland were in average one quarter smaller than after the drainage. The width at the bottom of the ditch has, however, almost doubled. Peat had sunken more in peatlands with thick peat layer and higher humidity. Sinking of peat influenced the depth of the ditches. The volume of the ditches decreased about 30%. The decrease of the ditches by the drying and sinking of the peat was greater than the increase caused by erosion.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
Stones can be removed in drain digging of peatlands by using explosives or hoisting devices. The report is based on observations, and time and motion studies on drainage sites in the state forests in Northern Finland in 1931‒1933. Dynamite has been previously the most common explosive used in drainage sites. The new explosives containing potassium chloride proved to be cheaper, and safer to handle and transport than dynamite. According to the time and motion studies, the use of hoisting devices to lift stones that are removable, was significantly cheaper than explosives.
The PDF includes a summary in English.