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Increased interest for silvicultural activities

Nyhet | Statistik - 21 October 2020

Silvicultural activities increased during 2019, according to the Swedish Forest Agency’s survey results. Precommercial thinning increased by 18 percent compared to the previous survey of 2017. Scarification and artificial regeneration increased by 13 and 6 percent respectively.

Silvicultural activities were carried out on 870 000 hectares during 2019. This includes scarification, precommercial thinning, artificial regeneration and fertilization. Precommercial thinning was the most common activity with 472 000 hectares. That is roughly 40 to 70 thousand hectares more than the previous years.

Artificial regeneration, which includes planting and sowing, was a little over 189 000 hectares in 2019. Of this, planting accounted for around 174 000 hectares. The activity in recent years is higher than during the 1990s when artificial regeneration was about 144 000 hectares annually on average. That can in turn be compared with the first estimations from the period of 1955-1959 that had an average of 95 000 hectares of artificial regeneration per year.

Scarification was done on 172 000 hectares and almost 36 000 hectares of forest land was fertilized.

Regeneration with Pinus contorta continues to decrease

During 2019 artificial regeneration with Pinus contorta was carried out on 2 000 hectares in the large-scale forestry. Most of it was in southern Norrland. This is lower than the average for the period of 2010-2017 which was roughly 6 000 hectares. That can further be compared to the years during the 1980s when Pinus contorta accounted for an average of 32 000 hectares per year.

Silvicultural activities by region

In all four regions precommercial thinning was the most common silvicultural activity during 2019. In Götaland 187 000 hectares were thinned. In Svealand and southern Norrland, 133 500 hectares and 92 000 hectares were thinned respectively. The least amount of precommercial thinning was in northern Norrland with 79 500 hectares. The highest area of scarification was in southern Norrland, 52 000 hectares, while the lowest was in Götaland with 35 000 hectares. Planting areas was largest in Götaland, 52 500 hectares while it was 37 500 hectares in Svealand.

Explanations and news about the statistics

Estimations for silvicultural activities during 2018 are not available because the underlying surveys were not collected that year.

Starting with the statistics on silvicultural activities of 2019, margins of error will be published along with the estimations. That will make it easier for users of the statistics to evaluate the quality of the estimations. The margin of error is a 95 percent confidence interval and is described more in the statistics quality declaration (in Swedish) on the statistics webpage.

The statistics on silvicultural activities from the Swedish Forest Agency is based on two surveys. One random sample survey to small-scale forestry (owners of less than 5 000 hectares of forest land) and a total population survey of large-scale forestry (owning more than 5 000 hectares). The survey to the large-scale forestry has a few more questions which is why for example the Pinus contorta regeneration is only known for this group.