Commercial Forestry Day 2

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Wednesday 5th September, Day 2

Commercial forestry site visit (SG)

F or our second day, the group joined second year Forest Engineering degree students from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) on a course assignment – mensuration. Having not studied Forestry at university myself, the practical fieldwork reminded me very much of a Forestry Commission Scotland ‘Forestry for non-Foresters’ course I attended.

Dr. Jenni Kokkarinen, lecturer at Tampere University of Applied Sciences

The 70-80 year old forest we visited was owned, like many forests in Finland, by a variety of private owners, in this instance including Tampere City Council. Dr Jenni Kokkarinen, lecturer at Tampere University of Applied Sciences provided the group with an introduction to forestry practices in Finland. To all intent and purposes Finland’s timber industry features four main tree species – Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), silver birch (Betula pendula) and aspen (Populus tremula).

My impression of commercial forestry in Finland is that management of the land appears less regulated than in the UK. The majority of forests are the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified, very few are the more stringent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standard. The mixed stands are typically thinned after 40 years before clear-felling after 60-80 years, even as long as 100 years. After clear-fell, Finnish law states the site must be restocked; more often than not this is through natural regeneration, but occasionally Norway spruce is planted, especially on good soils. It would appear Norway spruce is the species of choice in Finnish forestry.

Pests and diseases do not seem to be a major concern in Finnish forestry. The large pine weevil, Hylobius abietis, is present and dealt with through similar treatment techniques as favoured in the UK. Other pathogens include the fungi Heterobasidion annosum on pine and Heterobasidion parviporum on spruce

Planted Norway spruce, Picea abies.

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Introduction and Finnish Forestry Overview Over two-thirds of Finland is forest cover. This expanse of forest cover may be one of the reasons most of the population seems to be well connected to nature, because most people live within reach of nature. Not only do people live near nature, but many are able to own a small piece of it as much of the forested area is owned by private persons. Accessibility is also important because many people are able to use the forest, even if they do not own any forests themselves. Subject to certain rules and regulations, people are able to use the forest and the wildlife within it as a renewable resource for wood products, hunting and foraging. Above all, most Finnish people strongly value the link between being in nature and good health.

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