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

Fellings

Here you will find statistics on harvested areas and volumes in Sweden.

Here you will find statistics on harvested volumes and areas from the Swedish Forest Agency and the National Forest Inventory.

  • 96.0 million cubic metres of forest were felled in 2021.
  • 95.8 million cubic metres of forest were felled in 2022 (preliminary figure).
  • 93 million cubic metres of forest is estimated to be felled in 2023.
  • 77.1 million cubic metres (m3fub) were recovered in 2022 for use in the forest industry and for energy purposes (preliminary figure).
  • On average, 251,000 hectares were felled per year during the period 2017-2021.
  • On average, 290,000 hectares were thinned per year during the period 2017–2021.

Gross felling

According to the Swedish Forest Agency's preliminary statistics, gross felling amounted to 95.8 million forest cubic meters in 2022. Gross felling includes the total volume of wood felled. In 2021, gross felling was 96.0 million forest cubic metres. Harvesting levels in 2021 and 2022 have been the highest so far if we disregard 2005 and 2007 when fellings were very high due to storms Gudrun and Per.

Logging has increased a lot since the early 1950s, when it was between 40 million and 60 million cubic metres of forest cubic metres annually.

Harvesting forecast for 2023

In 2023, we estimate that gross felling will amount to 93 million forest cubic meters. We base our assessment on, among other things, an expected decrease in production of solid-wood products and pulp in the forest industry. Harvesting of softwood sawlogs is thus expected to decrease by just over 2 percent and pulpwood by 4 percent. The decrease in felling of sawlogs and pulpwood is to some extent offset by increased felling of firewood. Firewood harvesting is expected to increase by 3 percent.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Breakdown of gross fellings by part of the country:

  • Norra Norrland 12 million cubic meters
  • Södra Norrland 21 million cubic meters
  • Svealand 30 million cubic meters
  • Götaland 33 million cubic meters

Gross felling by type of cutting

During the period 2017–2021, final felling accounted for 68 percent and thinning for 22 percent of gross felling. The remainder consisted of pre-commercial thinning, felling of seed trees and stands.

The average annual felling volume during the period 2017–2021 was 259 forest cubic metres per hectare in final felling and 72 forest cubic metres per hectare in thinning. Average felling per hectare has increased since the mid-1980s, especially in final felling.

All land use classes excluding urban land. Including alpine areas from 2017. Outside formally protected areas (-2002). Including formally protected areas (2003-). Five year average, represented by the middle year for example 2017/18-2021/22=2019. Year represents the start of a felling season . 2021 represents the period from bud opening 2021 to bud opening 2022.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Outside formally protected areas based on the most current boundaries. Five year average, represented by the middle year for example 2017/18-2021/22=2019. Year represents the start of a felling season for example 2021 represents the period from bud opening 2021 to bud opening 2022.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Gross felling by tree species

The felling volume consisted of just over half spruce, one-third pine and the rest deciduous trees. But there are major regional differences. In Götaland, the proportion of spruce was 71 percent and the proportion of pine 17 percent during the period 2017-2021. In Northern Norrland, spruce accounted for 30 percent and pine for 60 percent of the harvested volume. The distribution of felling by tree species has remained fairly unchanged for the country as a whole since the beginning of the 2000s.

All land use classes excluding urban areas. Including alpine areas (2017-). Outside formally protected areas (-2002). Including formally protected areas (2003-). Five year average, represented by the middle year for example 2017/18-2021/22=2019. Year represents the start of a felling season for example 2021 represents the period from bud opening 2021 to bud opening 2022.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Net felling

Net felling in 2022 amounted to 77.1 million solid cubic meters under bark (m3fub). Net felling is the harvested volume of all tree trunks which are fully or partially recovered. Just under one-half of the net fellings consisted of sawlogs of conifers, 42 percent of pulpwood, 8 percent of firewood and some percent of other wood.

In comparison with 2021, we estimate that felling of coniferous sawlogs has decreased by 3 percent, felling of pulpwood increased by 3 percent and felling of firewood increased by 2 percent.

Total net and gross fellings in the unit m3sk (standing volume) have been revised from year 2000 due to revised conversion factor.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Outside formally protected areas based on the most current boundaries. Five year average, represented by the middle year for example 2017/18-2021/22=2019. Year represents the start of a felling season for example 2021 represents the period from bud opening 2021 to bud opening 2022.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Trade in roundwood

According to statistics from Statistics Sweden, just under 3 percent of the Swedish harvesting in 2022 was exported. Exports of roundwood increased sharply in 2022, from 1.2 million m3fub in 2021 to preliminary 2.0 million m3fub in 2022.

Preliminary imports of roundwood amounted to 6.5 million m3fub in 2022, which is about 0.1 million m3fub more than in the previous year.

Harvested area

On average, 251,000 hectares were felled and 290,000 hectares thinned per year during the period 2017–2021. Compared to the period 2016–2020, the final harvested area has increased by 9 percent and the thinned area has decreased by 5 per cent.

This means that 1.1 percent of the total productive forest land was felled and 1.3 percent thinned annually during the period 2017-2021. The area refers to productive forest land excluding formally protected forest land.

Average felling area

The average final felling for fellings larger than 0.5 hectares in 2021 was 3.3 hectares.

Size of final fellings by part of the country:

  • Northern Norrland 5.2 hectares
  • Southern Norrland 4.3 hectares
  • Svealand 3.2 hectares
  • Götaland 2.3 hectares

Size of final fellings by owner category:

  • Individual forest owners 2.8 hectares
  • Other forest owners 4.6 hectares

Year refers to felling season (2021=felling season 2021/2022).

Harvesting of branches and tops

The harvesting of branches and tops for energy purposes on the final felled area was carried out on average on 83,000 hectares per year during the period 2017–2021. This corresponds to approximately 33 percent of the total harvested area. The final harvested area with harvesting of branches and tops decreased until 2015 and has since increased again.

  • Last Updated: 5/17/2023