Pine seedlings.

Seedlings of Scots pine continue to exceed Norway spruce in 2021

Nyhet | Statistik - 05 April 2022

During 2020 the amount of delivered seedlings of Scots pine exceeded the amount of delivered Norway spruce, a trend which continues in 2021. This is according to statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency.

In 2021, 452 million seedlings of forest species were delivered, which is an increase of 45 million compared to 2020. The increase is due to a rise in the number of delivered seedlings of Scots pine (33 million), but also due to an increase of delivered seedlings of Norway spruce (8 million).

The number of Scots pine seedlings has increased steadily since 2013 and continued to increase in 2021. The number of delivered Norway spruce seedlings, which decreased in 2020, increased by almost 8 million (4 percent) in 2021.

Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings together constitute 96 percent of the total number of forest seedlings delivered. Delivered Lodgepole pine seedlings stand for 2.2 percent and larch 0.8 percent. Sitka spruce, birch and other seedlings of conifers and broadleaf species each make up less than 0.5 percent of the number of forest seedlings delivered.

Production method

Container-rooted seedlings is the dominating method of production for coniferous species. Scots pine and lodgepole pine are basically only produced as container-rooted seedlings. The share of Norway spruce seedlings produced as container-rooted in 2021 was 78 percent and the share of Larch seedlings 48 percent, which is an increase compared to 2020 (77 and 44 percentage respectively). Most other coniferous species and broadleaf tree species are produced as bare-rooted seedlings in 2021.Just over 4 percent of the coniferous seedlings were produced as transplanted container-rooted seedlings in 2021.

Propagation method

Seed propagation was the dominating method of propagation of coniferous seedlings in 2021. Vegetative propagation was mainly applied to broadleaf seedlings.

Protection method

The share of coniferous seedlings delivered with some sort of protection against insects was 55 percent in 2021. The trend with an increased share of seedlings with mechanical protection and a decreasing share of insecticide-treated coniferous plants has been clear. Over the past two years, the share of insecticide-treated seedlings has been 3 percent, compared with 28 percent in 2014.

The share of mechanically protected seedlings has increased from 17 percent in 2014 to 52 percent in 2021. The share of untreated seedlings decreased from 55 percent in 2014 to 45 percent in 2021.


In 2021, seedlings originated from Swedish seed-orchards amounted to 84 percent, in comparison to 81 percent in 2020. Seedlings of Scots pine and Lodgepole pine almost solely (96 and 99 percent respectively) originate from Swedish seed-orchards. The share of Norway spruce seedlings originating from Swedish seed-orchards increased from 65 percent in 2020 to 72 percent in 2021.

Forest seedlings and seeds imported to Sweden for forest sowing

During 2020 just over 57 million seedlings were imported to Sweden from other countries. That means 14 percent of delivered seedlings 2020 (out of 407 million seedlings in total) had at least partly been produced outside Sweden. (However, it is uncertain whether the plants were delivered the same year they were imported.) The import of seeds from abroad to Sweden in 2020 decreased to 173 kg from close to 2,300 kg in 2019. The large decrease in seed imports is largely due to the EU not allowing imports from Belarus after 31 December 2019. Imports of seeds from Belarus alone were just over 1,800 kg in 2019.

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


  • 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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