Skogsstyrelsen, skogsskötselåtgärder söder om Matfors, Midälvagården 231003. Magnus Martinsson och Caroline Vågberg. Foto: Marie Birkl. Foto: Marie Birkl

Quality of regrowth

Here you will find information about the regeneration methods, the proportion of approved regeneration, the proportion of soil preparation and the number of main plants.

The Swedish Forest Agency conducts an inventory of approximately 450 regeneration fellings per year. The inventory takes place 7 years after regeneration felling in Norrland and 5 years after in Svealand and Götaland.

We present the results as three-year averages. The latest results refer to three-year averages of inventories conducted in the seasons 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 are referred to as 2021/22.

Regeneration in compliance with Swedish Forestry Act

The proportion of regeneration areas that were assessed as approved under the Forestry Act was 80 percent at the latest inventory. This is a decrease of 4 percentage points since 2021/22.

From the 1 April 2022 new regulations come into force pertaining to the minimum number of main plants/main stems that must be present for a regeneration to be seen as approved. Until we have sufficient data to be able to present a three-year average according to the new regulations, the results presented will be in accordance with the older regulations.

In the 2000s and early 2010s, the proportion of approved regeneration in individual forestry was lower than for other forest owners. Since 2000, the difference has steadily decreased and during the inventories in recent years, there was no difference between the ownership categories

Year (Three-year average) is given as the middle year for example 2001-2003=2002. Starting from 2008 season of inventory is based on the felling season 1/7 -30/6, that could be seen in the notation.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Percentage of approved regeneration area at the last inventory, by region:

  • Northern Norrland 87%
  • Southern Norrland 80%
  • Svealand 74%
  • Götaland 80%

All parts of the country have had a positive development since the turn of the millennium until a couple of years ago when the approved area decreased in all parts of the country.

Year (Three-year average) is given as the middle year for example 2001-2003=2002. Starting from 2008 season of inventory is based on the felling season 1/7 -30/6, that could be seen in the notation.

Logotype Official Statistics of Sweden

Planting had an approved area of 82 percent at the last inventory. 78 percent of the seeded area was approved, and 64 percent of the naturally regenerated area was approved. Regeneration without any regeneration measure was the worst with 44 percent approved area. However, this area stands for only 2% of the total regeneration area.

Method of regeneration

Planting is the most common regeneration method and used in the most recent inventory of 87 percent of the harvested area. Planting has increased since the beginning of the 2000s, when about 60 percent of the area was regenerated by planting.

In the past, regeneration with natural regeneration was more common than it is today. About a third of the harvested area was regenerated with natural regeneration in the early 2000s, compared with 7 percent in the last inventory.

Seeded regeneration was almost negligible in the early 2000s but increased in the early 2010s to a maximum of 5 percent in the 2012/13 survey. In the most recent inventory, the proportion of regeneration with sowing was 3 percent.

On about 2 percent of the regeneration harvested area, no regeneration measures are conducted at all. This is a slight decrease since the beginning of the 2000s, when the share was 3-4 percent of the harvested area.

Soil scarification

The proportion of scarified regeneration area in the country shows a weak, but steady, increase and is now up to 89 percent.

The proportion of scarified planted regeneration area remains at last year's level across the country, with soil scarification accounting for 92 percent of planted regeneration area. In Norrland, virtually all regeneration area that is planted is scarified, while in Svealand and Götaland the proportion is 93 and 75 percent, respectively.

Soil scarification on naturally regenerated land has decreased and was 53 percent according to the latest inventory. In Northern Norrland, soil scarification decreased to 52 percent and in Southern Norrland it decreased to 57 percent. In Götaland and Svealand, the proportion has fallen to 53 percent in both parts of the country.

Main Plants

The latest results show that there are an average of 2,352 main plants per hectare in the country. In the earlier survey, there were 2,371 main plants per hectare.

The majority of the main plants consist of pine and spruce. Pine has increased slightly in recent years, while spruce has decreased. Pine dominates in Northern Norrland and Southern Norrland. In Sveland, there are about the same number of main spruce and pine seedlings, while spruce dominates in Götaland. In recent years, however, the proportion of pine has increased slightly in Svealand and Götaland.

Birch, which is mainly self-regenerated, is often abundant in regeneration. However, in regrowth monitoring, conifers are always prioritised over deciduous trees as main seedlings, which explains why the number of deciduous trees is relatively low among the main seedlings.

Birch is the most common deciduous tree species, accounting for about 14 percent of the main plants. Lodgepole pine, larch, valuable broadleaf, and other deciduous trees are still of small abundance and there are no clear tendencies that main seedlings of any of these tree species groups are increasing.

Figure 9. Sweden map

Sverigekarta/  Map of Sweden
  • Last Updated: 11/17/2023