Current issue: 54(2)
In the present investigation, the problems connected to demand of firewood are dealt with by studying the fuel markets of the three biggest towns in Finland – Helsinki, Turku and Tampere as well as those of Vaasa. The purpose of the investigation was to study the firewood supply areas in two time periods, in 1933-1939 and in 1945-1947, after the Second World War.
Railway and shipping were the most important ways for transporting firewood in 1933-1939. Towards the end of the period, road transport increased especially in Turku and in Vaasa. In 1945-47 almost 90% of the firewood transported to Helsinki, 60% to Tampere and Turku, and over 50% of the firewood transpors to Vaasa were carried by rail. One factor supporting rail transport was that the tariff policy of the State Railways gave preference to firewood transports.
The supply areas increased markedly from 1933-1939 to 1945-1947. Supply of firewood near the towns in the southern, southwestern and western parts of the country was small. Also, pulp industry began to use small-sized timber in 1930s, which increased competition of the wood. Coal and coke began to replace firewood in the 30s, but their use decreased during and after the war due to supply shortage.
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Fuel shortage during and after the Second World War compelled the Government of Finland to improve the fuel supply. In 1948 the Government appointed a Committee to draft a proposal on use of domestic and imported fuels. Special attention was placed on how to develop use of peat as fuel.
In rural districts, firewood billets and waste wood accounted for 45% of fuel consumption. For other users than the rural population, coal and coke consisted 25%, industrial waste wood 11% and billets 18% of the total consumption in 1938. After the war the use of coal and coke increased and the use of billets decreased.
Due to the decreased demand of billets, their price in the towns fell lower than the production and transport costs from the most remote areas where the wood was harvested. The demand for small sized timber is important for silvicultural reasons, and wood harvesting creates jobs for the rural population, therefore, the Committee proposes that the state supports the production of billets. This could be done by improving the effectiveness of firewood loggings, and by building truck roads and railways.
Small-sized birch is used predominantly as fuel. The Committee considers the growing stock of birch to be the largest unutilized wood reserve. Supported by technological research, it may become a new raw material for sulphate cellulose industry. Use of industrial waste wood as fuel and improvement of heating equipment would improve the competitiveness of fuelwood and peat against other fuels. For the possible interruptions in imports, stocks of foreign fuels should be maintained.
The article includes a summary in English.
The aim of this treatise is to describe forests owned by timber companies, their area and position, the quality of forests, the condition of the forests, and fellings carried out during the World War II.
Area of the company-owned forest was 1,95 million hectares, 1,64 million hectares of which was productive and 0,31 hectares inferior forest soil, not including the areas lost after the war. Most of the forests were situated in remote regions. Average volume of the tree stands was slightly larger than in farm-owned forests. Fellings counted for 84% of the growth of the forests.
During the war the state set felling quotas for both company, private and state forests. It was widely discussed how well they were met by the different owner groups. According to the statistics, the companies had followed relatively closely their cutting plans in peace years. Cuttings were highest in 1939, when the war begun. In the war years 1940-43, lack of workforce, horses and cars for transport complicated logging. The fellings increased again during truce after Winter War. Especially demand for small timber increased during the war. Felling of firewood increased in all the owner groups, in particular in the private forests that were situated near settlements. in general fellings were higher in forests that were easiest to reach.
During the war the companies acquired timber more from their own forests. The fellings from company forests were in war years 70% of those in peace years. The article concludes that companies fulfilled the requirements as well as it was possible in the circumstances.
The article includes an abstract in English.
A Committee was appointed in 1931 to prepare a program to improve the trade of small timber and to develop Finnish fuels and their production. The low demand for small timber is caused by the reduced export of Egyptian balks, and decreased demand of fuel wood that have been replaced by the imported fuels, like coal. At the same time, the supply of small timber has grown significantly due to increased thinnings, and better transport facilities that have made timber more accessible. Also, decreasing demand of large timber has increased the supply of small timber. The demand of small timber concentrates on Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). The sales of small timber are crucial from the silvicultural point of view. Selection felling of large timber in the past has reduced the supply of logs and led to surplus of small timber.
The article discusses the uses of small timber and potential new fields, such as wood sugar as fodder or refining wood as fuel. The use of timber should be promoted especially in the domestic industry. The Committee suggests funding for an additional forestry teaching post in the University of Technology, for forest technology and forest economics research in the Forest Research Institute, for research in wood technics, and for follow-up of forest sugar and wood gas fields.
The PDF includes a summary in English.