Coniferous plants in a forest plant nursery school. Foto: Michael Ekstrand

Decrease of delivered seedlings in 2022

Nyhet | Statistik - 13 April 2023

In 2022, 422 million seedlings were delivered, which is a decrease of 30 million (7 percent) compared to 2021.The recent years increase in delivered seedlings of Scots pine, Norway spruce, Lodgepole pine and broadleaf species (other than birch) slowed during 2022. This can be seen in statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency.

The number of Scots pine seedlings has increased steadily since 2013 but decreased by almost 8 million, to close to 229 million, compared to 2021. Also, the number of delivered Norway spruce seedlings decreased, by almost 21 million, to just over 176 million in 2022.

Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings together constitute 96 percent of the total number of forest seedlings delivered. Delivered Lodgepole pine seedlings represent 1.5 percent and larch 1.1 percent. Sitka spruce, birch and other seedlings of conifers and broadleaf species each make up less than 0.6 percent of the number of forest seedlings delivered.

Production method

Container-rooted seedlings are the dominating method of production for coniferous species. Scots pine and lodgepole pine are almost entirely produced as container-rooted seedlings. The proportion of Norway spruce seedlings produced as container-rooted in 2022 was 79 percent. The share of Larch seedlings was 32 percent, which is a decrease compared to 2021 (48 percent). Most other coniferous species and broadleaf tree species were produced as bare-rooted seedlings in 2022. Just over 4 percent of the coniferous seedlings were produced as transplanted container-rooted seedlings in 2022.

Propagation method

Seed propagation was the dominating method of propagation of coniferous seedlings in 2022. Vegetative propagation was mainly applied with broadleaf seedlings other than birch.

Protection method

The share of coniferous seedlings delivered with some sort of protection against insects (mechanical or chemical) has increased since 2016. In 2022 the share in percent was 72, 43 and 22 respectively, for Norway spruce, Scots pine and Lodgepole pine seedlings with protection against insects. The trend with an increased proportion of seedlings with mechanical protection and a decreasing share of insecticide-treated coniferous plants is clear. The share of mechanical protected seedlings has increased from 17 percent in 2014 to around 50 percent the last three years.

The share of mechanically protected seedlings has increased from 17 percent in 2014 to 52 percent in 2021.

Origin

In 2022, delivered seedlings originated from Swedish seed-orchards amounted to 84 percent, which is unchanged from 2021. Seedlings of Scots pine and Lodgepole pine almost solely (95 and 100 percent respectively) originate from Swedish seed-orchards. The proportion of Norway spruce seedlings originating from Swedish seed-orchards increased from 71 percent in 2021 to 74 percent in 2022.

Forest seedlings and seeds imported to Sweden

During 2021 just over 54,7 million seedlings were imported to Sweden from other countries. That means 12 percent of delivered seedlings in 2021 (out of 422 million seedlings in total) had at least partly been produced outside Sweden. (It is uncertain whether the plants were delivered the same year they were imported.) The import of seed varies greatly over time, both in terms of quantity and type of species. The import of seed in 2021 was 434 kilogram in total.

The statistics refer to seedlings and seeds for use in Sweden.

 

Explanation

  • Container-rooted seedlings – the roots are surrounded by a substrate cluster that usually consists of peat.
  • Transplanted container-rooted seedlings – container-rooted seedlings which are transplanted as bare-rooted seedlings.
  • Bare-rooted seedlings – seedlings without accompanying cultivation substrate (soil or peat) around the roots.

The survey is part of the Official Statistics of Sweden.

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