Current issue: 54(5)
Under compilation: 55(1)
The Finnish forest industry is undergoing a vast expansion, which has raised questions of forest balance. This paper studies the possibilities to increase the amount available timber by means of forest drainage. About third of the Finnish land area is peatlands. The calculations of the investigation are based on Forestry Board districts. Based on earlier studies, there is estimated to be 3,042,000 ha of true drainable swamps, 973,000 ha of poor swamps, 1,381,000 ha of uplands in need of drainage, and 1,205,000 ha of drained peatlands. Therefore, the area of drainable and drained lands totals 6,6 million ha, and requirement of forest drainage 5,4 million ha. The drainage hardly reaches this extent, however. It can be assumed that part of the poor swamps is uneconomical to drain. In addition, a half of the paludified forest land will probably not be drained. Thus, it can be estimated that the area to be drained in the future is about 5 million ha. It seems possible that this area could be drained within about 50 years with the present draining capacity.
Draining of all objects of forests would increase the annual increment of our forests, in time, by about 10.5 million m3. This would signify an increase of 23% compared to the present growth of the forests. The increase in the growth consists mainly of softwood: 16% is birch, and the remaining 84% almost equally of Scots pine and Norway spruce. The increase of growth is relatively slow. Depending on the rate of the drainage program, the mean increase of growth will be reached in about 25–35 years. The increase in removal indicated by the increase in the mean increment will be reached in only 50–60 years.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The purpose of this investigation was to study the felling volume and its structure in the State forests of Finland. Special attention was paid on the proportion of waste wood within the felling volume. This information was in demand for the general plan of the State forests that was being prepared at the same time. The survey was performed using a sampling method, and it represented the districts in the northernmost Finland, Ostrobothnia, Eastern Finland and Western Finland of the Forest Services.
The proportion of merchantable timber of the total felling volume was lowest in the northernmost Finland, less than 2/3 of the total cut. In Ostrobothnia the share was ¾, Eastern Finland 4/5 and in Western Finland 5/6. When the tree species were compared, the proportion of waste wood was largest in broadleaved trees, especially in the Northern Finland, while for Scots pine it was lowest. For Norway spruce the share of merchantable timber is markedly lower in the northernmost part of the country, where, for instance, decay increases the proportion of waste wood. For birch, demand of wood influences most the proportion of waste wood.
In general, the proportion of waste wood and merchantable timber in the felling volume was influenced by changes in the demand of timber, structure of the stands, and the felling method. The demand of the timber assortment affects most in the amount of waste wood. The more valuable the timber assortment is, the less waste wood is left in the cutting area.
The PDF includes a summary in German.