RMK begins record large-scale forest planting 02.04

In 2020, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) will be planting 22.4 million plants in the state forest, which is more than ever before. To do so, RMK will contribute a record EUR 19 million in total to the planting of forests and the maintenance of young forests.

Planting a forest lays the foundation for the next generation of forest. This year, a record number of 22.4 million plants will be planted in the state forest, of which 10.6 million are pine, 9.5 million are spruce, 2.2 million are birches, and 160,000 are alders and oaks. All plants have been grown in RMK’s own nurseries.

RMK is increasingly investing in the quality and protection of plants, as well as in the maintenance of growing forests. ‘Planting is the beginning of everything, and our work is not limited to this. The further cultivation and maintenance of the forest, a process which takes years, is an even more important stage, although it will mostly remain unseen by bystanders. If you plant, but fail to protect the plants from possible damage or maintain the young growing forest, then a positive result should not be expected’, said Toomas Väät, Head of RMK's Silviculture Division.

According to Väät, RMK changed the work processes related to afforestation this year in order to meet the safety requirements arising from the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus. ‘RMK itself complies with and also requires that its contractual partners adhere to the measures intended to prevent the spread of the virus. Among other things, we are maintaining a distance from one another on the work site, people are scattered between 8000 different objects in need of renovation work, and of course it is important to meet the hygiene requirements both in nurseries and in the forest’, confirmed Väät.

The majority of planting work takes place in April and May. More than 21 million trees will be planted over a period of two months. A million spruce plants are planted in the autumn, when sufficient moisture and cooler weather favours the plant beginning to grow, with autumn planting also helping to disperse the spring load.

As most plants are planted by hand, the forest planting season provides an additional 1700 people with employment. One third of the employees are RMK loggers and the rest of the work is performed by contract partners found on the basis of a public procurement. For the third year, machine planting is also being used, which takes care of both soil preparation and planting in one take.

This year, RMK will renew a record number of areas – a total of 12,300 hectares. In addition to cutting areas, the planting area also includes those areas where forest was not previously growing, such as low-value grasslands, shrubbery and quarries. Most of the area to be regenerated, 8700 hectares, will be planted with woody plants. The rest of the area is sown with seeds; natural regeneration is helped by preparing the ground. A total of 1600 hectares of suitable habitat for deciduous trees will be left to natural regeneration.

RMK pays for the planting works on the basis of the procurement conditions carried out in the autumn; in addition, RMK cancelled the deposit requirement for the contract period due to the emergency situation.

Public tree planting events have been cancelled in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Those who are interested can follow the information on RMK's website.

Further information:
Toomas Väät
Head of RMK's Silviculture Division
E-mail: toomas.vaat@rmk.ee
Telephone: 520-5734

Sille Ader
Head of the RMK Communications Department
E-mail: sille.ader@rmk.ee
Telephone: +372-5666-5896