Young forest stand and clear-cut area. Foto: Patrik Svedberg

Sharp decrease in fellings in 2023

Nyhet | Statistik - 04 June 2024

Felling in Sweden decreased in 2023 and amounted to just under 90 million cubic meters standing volume according to preliminary statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency. The decline means that the trend in recent years of high felling levels was broken in 2023. The level is the lowest since 2016.

According to the Swedish Forest Agency's preliminary statistics, the gross felling in 2023 amounted to 89.6 million cubic meters standing volume. This is a decrease of 6 percent compared to 2022 when felling amounted to 95.0 million cubic meters standing volume.

Peaks in felling occupied in 2005 and 2007 in conjunction with the storms Gudrun and Per. If these two peaks are excluded, then the years 2021 and 2022 represent record high levels of felling. The decline in felling for 2023 is so significant that you need to go back to 2016 to find a lower annual felling.

The harvest of saw logs increased sharply

The net felling, which consists of the harvested volume of all tree trunks that are fully or partially removed, amounted to 72.2 million cubic meters (m3sub) in 2023. Just under half of the net felling consisted of saw logs from conifers, 44 percent of pulpwood and 8 percent of firewood.

Compared to 2022, the felling of saw logs from conifers is estimated to have decreased by 10 percent and the felling of pulpwood decreased by 2 percent. The harvest of firewood remained relatively unchanged compared to 2022.

Exports of harvested roundwood decreased

Just under 2 percent of the Swedish harvest was exported in 2023. Exports decreased in 2023, from 2.0 million cubic meters in 2022 to a preliminary 1.3 million cubic meters in 2023.

In 2023, imports of roundwood amounted to a preliminary 7.3 million cubic meters, which is about 0.8 million cubic meters more than the previous year.

Decreased felling throughout the country

Felling decreased in 2023 in all parts of the country. In Northern Norrland and Southern Norrland felling decreased by 7 percent, in Svealand by 6 percent and in Götaland by 5 percent.

The highest levels of felling were in Västra Götaland County

In 2023, 8.2 million cubic meters were felled in Västra Götaland county, which was 9 percent of the total felling in the country. Felling was also high in Värmland county, where 8.0 million cubic meters were felled.

About 68 percent of the volume comes from final felling

About 68 percent of the harvested volume comes from final felling, 22 percent from thinning and the rest from other types of fellings.

The average felling volume during the period 2018–2022 was 264 cubic meters standing volume per hectare in final felling and 72 cubic meters standing volume per hectare in thinning.

On average, the area of final felling was 243,000 hectares and the area of thinning was 287,000 hectares per year during the period 2018–2022. In comparison with the period 2017–2021 the final felling area has decreased 3 percent and the thinning area has decreased 1 percent. Removal of branches and tree tops for energy purposes was undertaken on 33 percent of the final felling area.

Spruce makes up more than half of the harvested volume, pine one third and broadleaves just over one tenth.

The average final felling area is 3.6 hectares

In 2023, the average final felling area for fellings larger than 0.5 hectares was 3.6 hectares. The average size of the final fellings in Northern Norrland (5.6 hectares) was more than twice the size of the average in Götaland (2.5 hectares). The average final felling area of individual forest owners was about 40 percent less than that of other forest owners.


Gross felling: Total harvested trunk volume, including trunks not removed from the forest. Measured in cubic meters standing volume (m3sk) which means the trunk volume above the stump including top and bark but excluding branches.

Net felling: Total harvested trunk volume above the stump excluding tops and bark and felled whole trees and trunk parts that are not removed from the forest. Expressed in solid cubic meters under bark (m3s ub) which refers to the trunk volume excluding bark, top and branches.

The statistics are part of the Official Statistics of Sweden.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden