Wood resources are very important in Finland both economically and socially. In 2013 the forest sector covered 3.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in and employed 65 000 people. For the past two decades the total amount of wood removed from forests (annual roundwood removals) has remained at 50–60 million cubic meters resulting in 1.7 to 1.8 billion euros in gross stumpage earnings.
Over 85 % of the total land area in Finland is under forestry. Forest are owned by private citizens (53%), the state (35%), private companies (7%) and public corporations (5%). In terms of growing stock volumes, most of the wood resources can be found on mineral soils yet forests growing on peatlands also host large quantities of wood.
Total roundwood removals amounted to 51,5 million m3 in 2013. Of this, 21,4 million million m3 was removed as as logs and 29,3 million m3 as pulpwood. Coniferous tree species are the most harvested; in 2012 the share of pine was 46%, spruce 37% and hardwood 15% of the total volume of roundwood removals.
The export of forest industry's products covers 19% of the total value of exports from Finland. Roundwood and wood residues are also exported but these are much less significant (1,3 million m3 in 2012).
Forests and mires are wood producing habitats. Forests on minerasl soils cover 49% and mires (peatlands) 28% of the land area of Finland. Depending on definitions, 4–13% of the total forest area is protected while some 85% is available for forestry. More than half of the original mires area has been drained to increase forest growth. The growth of commercial forests has been optimized by management practices. Currently the majority of forests belong to the fastest growing age groups.
Forestry alters the natural conditions of forests at different phases of development. Normally the natural species assemblage is altered and diversity diminished as a result of forestry practices. Typically, for example, only one tree species is used when seeding or planting takes place.
The area that is annually treated with fellings has varied between 500 000−700 000 hectares for the past 25 years. The number includes intermediate fellings, regeneration fellings and other fellings, such as change in land use. Standard regeneration fellings cause the greatest changes in the environment. They also change the landscape and possibly decrease people’s willingness the use area for recreational purposes.
Finnish Forest Research Institute. Finnish Statistical Yearbooks of Forestry.
- Updated (13.01.2015)