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Renewed forest must be maintained also after planting

Only 10% of the forest was renewed with spruce in 2018. Photo: Eda Tetlov.
Only 10% of the forest was renewed with spruce in 2018. Photo: Eda Tetlov.

The renewal of forests does not end with planting the trees, but also requires improving the light and nutritional conditions of the young forest. The best season to remove excess herbaceous vegetation and scrub is in the first half of the summer, when competing plants begin to hinder the growth of the planted trees.

“Summer is a good time for taking care for the forest crops and felling of young forests. It is important to take into account the development of the forest on a long-term basis when planning and executing these operations. If necessary, the forestry consultants of forestry cooperatives, who may be contacted any time for any relevant questions, are able to offer any advice and knowledge for the forest owner,” said Olav Etverk, Manager of the Forest Department of the Environmental Board.

The renewal of forests must meet the requirements of law, but at the same time designing a new generation of forests is also a process of creating something new. With the taking care of the old and choosing the future trees, the forest may be shaped in many ways. Support for the maintenance of young forest crops can be obtained from the Private Forest Centre.

Last year, the Environmental Board executed an research of clear-cut areas in private lands in 2012 to record, how and with what species of trees the forest has been renewed. According to the research, the most regenerative species of the forest of the previous generation (59%) are birch forests. In clear-cut fells of pine and spruce, only 14% of the forest was renewed with pine trees and 10% with spruce. In the remaining cases, the forest was mainly regenerated with leaf trees.

“We are used to having a high pine tree dune near the sea, where it is good to rest and exercise and a little further away there is a tall pine forest where you can pick berries. For the most part, the forest owner does not want to change anything for the next generation of the forest. However, it may be quite different on fertile soils, where mixed or birch forest takes over the power of natural regeneration, instead of the existing coniferous forest. Therefore, in coniferous forests, forest owners should pay more attention to assuring the growth of pine and spurce forest,” Olav Etverk suggested.

However, it should be kept in mind that spruce or pine trees growing in straight rows with one tree species may seem beautiful, but only in single species forests will leave us with species-poor forests with less biodiversity and less resistance to forest damage.

To increase the rich variety of species and to create a more naturally characteristic forest, we suggest to leave seed and perennial trees growing, to use terrain relief changes for different tree species, and maintain winding forest paths, which are very helpful in landscape diversification.

More information:
Olav Etverk
Manager of the Forest Department of the Environmental Board
e-mail: olav.etverk@keskkonnaamet.ee
telephone: 5032 190

Sille Ader
Spokesperson for the Environmental Board
e-mail: sille.ader@keskkonnaamet.ee
telephone: 5745 0332


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