Forest landscape in autumn colours.

Continued decline in area of approved regeneration

Nyhet | Statistik - 17 November 2022

Statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency show that 84 percent of the annual harvested forest area has been regenerated to the levels stipulated by the Forestry Act. This is a decrease with 2 percentage points compared with results from 2021, and the lowest approval figure in eight years.

As the Forestry Act stipulates that forest owners regenerate forests, the Swedish Forest Agency annually conducts a survey to monitor regeneration. The harvested area which meets the levels stipulated in the act, regarding number of approved plants and maximum gap area, has shown a positive development since the millennium and has remained at a stable level. Last year though the level decreased, and this year’s survey also shows a decrease with another 2 percentage points to 84 percent.

— Last year we could see a decrease, after a period of stable results, which continued this year. What this decrease depends on is difficult to say at present, according to Magnus Martinsson who leads the survey at the Forest Agency. It’s too early to see if this is a break in the positive trend that has previously been seen. A possible explanation to the decline is the drought of 2018 which strongly affected seedlings and small plants. If the results are an effect of the drought, we will continue to see this effect in the coming years.”

The highest percent of approved regenerations was seen in Götaland with 87 percent, followed by North Norrland and South Norrland with 86 percent and 84 percent respectively. The lowest percent of approved regenerations was found in Svealand with 81 percent.

No difference between owner categories

The ownership class Other owners has, for the past 20 years, shown better results than private owners. The difference between the classes has however been decreasing steadily and the results now show the classes are on par with one another.

Most approved regenerations when planting and sowing

Regarding the choice of regeneration method, planting seedlings has consistently been the most reliable method for regeneration. The statistics show that 86 percent of the planted area is approved, which is a decrease of two percent from last year. Harvested areas that are sown now show approval ratings at 84 percent, but they account for only three percent of the total harvested area. Natural regeneration results in 69 percent of the area reaching approved regeneration in the most recent results. 56 percent of the areas where no regeneration measures have been taken attained approved results.

Continued decline in area regenerated naturally

Planting is the dominating method for regeneration. At the turn of the century approximately 60 percent of the harvested area was planted, this figure is now at 87 percent. The area regenerated naturally is declining and is now at 8 percent of the harvested area.

More common with scarification before planting

Soil scarification is performed on 92 percent of the harvested area that is planted, according to the results from the past four years. In comparison, where natural regeneration is used, scarification is undertaken on 59 percent of the area. In total, 88 percent of harvested areas are scarified. In Norra and Södra Norrland, levels of soil scarification are high, at 95 and 96 percent respectively. In Svealand this figure is 87 percent and in Götaland 71 percent. 

Scots pine more common than Norway spruce

The number of main plants per hectare has been relatively stable over the last few years. The latest results show however a decline to 2 352 main plants per hectare. The most common species are Scots pine and Norway spruce. Scots pine account for approximately 47 percent of main plants, followed by Norway spruce with 35 percent.


Individual owners = Single owners, estates and small companies (sole traders).
Other owners = State, state owned companies/corporations, other public owners, private-sector companies/corporations and other private owners except individual owners.

The statistics are included in Sweden's official statistics.


Regeneration in compliance with Swedish Forestry Act

Percentage of regeneration area

Source: Swedish Forest Agency

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Surveyed 5-7 years after regeneration cutting.

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