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Most Estonian forest owners renew forests as required

Small spruces. Photo: Eda Tetlov
Small spruces. Photo: Eda Tetlov

Field work carried out by the forestry department of the Environmental Board in 2017 revealed that the majority of areas that need reforestation are growing a new generation of forest.

Last year, forest specialists carried out 3,450 expert's assessments for reforestation over 4,777 hectares. Expert’s assessments were carried out using the principle of random selection based on forest notices during the inspection of borders of clear-cut areas. Expert’s assessments determined that there were 262 clear-cut areas over five years old where a new required forest generation is not growing, at a total area of 367 hectares and forming 8% of the area of all inspected cutting areas. Applications for extending the term for reforestation were submitted on 179 allocations with the total area of 229 ha. Nine allocations with the total area of 43 ha had prospective reforestation.

“We sent 37 notices to owners of unrenewed forests, pointing out the need to perform the duty to regenerate the forest. We reminded them that forest owners must apply reforestation measures within two years of clear-cutting and ensure the growth of a new forest generation within five years. We sent such notices on 74 allocations in total, covering 95 hectares,” said Rando Omler, Senior Specialist of Reforestation and Forest Protection of the Environmental Board.

According to supplier reports and notices from member states, 31.3 million plants were used for forest renewal in 2017. The most popular planting item continues to be the spruce – 16.8 million plants were planted in total.
There weren’t enough self-grown plants in Estonia, so an additional 4.1 million plants were brought from neighbours. Plants brought to Estonia also included those grown in other member states from tree seeds exported from here. The most popular import article was the bare-root spruce plant, forming 66% of all imported forest plants.

2.2 million forest plants were exported to other countries, the most popular ones were potted regular spruces (89%).

According to the inventory of forest planting material for autumn, 27 million plants will be ready for planting this spring.

“The spring season for forest planting and sowing is about to start, so it pays to already think about activities to ensure a new forest generation with suitable tree species for cutting areas and dead parts of the forest. It is important to pay attention to renewing coniferous forests, in order to obtain valuable forest material in the future,” Rando Omler said.

Based on the Forest Act, the Environmental Board supervises the regeneration of forests, assessing in the course of an expert’s assessment of reforestation whether the forest owner has performed their duties. If regeneration measures are not applied or regeneration is insufficient then the owner’s attention is drawn to this fact. Failure to react to the notices means failure to comply with the Forest Act and sanctions may be applied in this case.

According to the Forest Act, cutting areas and dead parts of the forest must be forested with various means of regeneration – forest planting, sowing and additional planting together with additional maintenance of the plants.

More information:
Rando Omler
Head Specialist of Reforestation and Forest Protection of the Environmental Board
telephone: 5289 687

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