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Less activity in final felling despite large problems with bark beetle damages

Statistik - 12 November 2019

Monthly statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency shows a continuous decrease in notified area for final felling in October compared to the same month 2018 – in regions South of Northern Sweden and South of Sweden more than 30 per cent. The reason in South of Northern Sweden is the vast areas notified after the extensive forest fires last year, and lower timber rates may have had an impact in South of Sweden. In region Central Sweden the high level of activity in forest operations continues among forest owners.

The total area notified for final felling was 28 166 hectares in October, which is 21 per cent lower than for the same month 2018, and slightly lower than the average for the period 2007 – 2019.

So far 230 636 hectares have been notified in 2019. The decrease in notified area since September slightly decreases the annual rate (2 per cent) compared to the first ten months last year.

The area notified for final felling decreases in the whole country except in region Central Sweden.

  • In region Northern Sweden the notified area decreased by 14 per cent to 7 401 hectares.
  • In region South of Northern Sweden the notified area decreased as much as 32 per cent to 6 892 hectares compared to the same month 2018. It is a large decrease with a note below the average level of 8 593 hectares for the month during the period 2007-2019. It is also the lowest note for October since 2007.
  • In region Central Sweden the notified area increased by 6 per cent to 7 803 hectares.
  • In region South of Sweden, the decrease was a high 38 per cent to 6 031 hectares, which could be compared to an average of 7 068 hectares for October during the period 2007-2019. As for region South of Northern Sweden this is also the lowest level since 2007 for region South of Sweden.

A likely reason for the continuing high activity in region Central Sweden is the problem with forest damages by bark beetle, since there is a hurry to remove damaged trees in order to control and slow down the distribution the insect pest.

The large decrease in area notified for final felling in the region South of Northern Sweden originates from counties Jämtland and Gävleborg, where vast areas were notified 2018 due to extensive forest fires that year.

A decrease in 16 out of 21 counties

County Gotland has the largest decrease by 78 per cent (26 hectares), but since the productive forest area in Gotland is comparatively small, a change in notified area has a big percentage impact. It is however, the lowest level of notified area for final felling since 2012 and a third of the average level for the period 2007 – 2019. In Blekinge County the area notified decreased by 69 per cent to 209 hectares, which is the lowest level in 13 years. In County Halland the area notified continuous to decrease rather considerably by 45 per cent (263 hectares), compared to the same month 2018, which is the lowest note in 7 years.   

Another county which have significant decreases in area notified for final felling is County Jönköping by 53 per cent, which is the lowest note in 11 years as well as below the average level for the period 2007 – 2019. Kronoberg County also has the lowest note in 11 years with a decrease by 49 per cent to 536 hectares. County Västra Götaland has a decrease by 48 per cent to 1 111 hectares, which is the lowest note in 12 years. In Kalmar County the decrease is 41 per cent compared to October 2018 but still in line with the average level for the last 13 years. The same goes for Gävleborg County, where the decrease is 47 per cent to 2 077 hectares. In Jämtland County the decrease is 33 per cent compared to October 2018, which is the lowest not for the month since 2007.

Five counties show increasing levels of area notified for final felling and four of them show considerable increases. All five counties are located in region Central Sweden. In Västmanland County the increase in October was 92 per cent to 672 hectares compared to the same period last year. That is the highest note since the large forest fires in the county 2014. Örebro County had an increase by 64 per cent to 1 423 hectares, which is the highest level since 2007. In Södermanland County the notified area increased by 54 per cent compared to October 2018. That is the highest level since 2007 and about 20 per cent higher than the average level for the period 2007 – 2019. Uppsala County had an increase by 32 per cent, which is the highest level since 2007 and a good 33 per cent higher than the average level for the period 2007 – 2019. The reason in all five counties is most likely the serious problems of forest damages caused by bark beetle.

Statistics refer to total notifications and applications for permission in productive forest land for final felling.

The survey is part of Official Statistics of Sweden.

All results are published in our statistical database.

 

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