Almost 10,000 hectares of state forest is considered renewed this year  27.10

For forest managers, right now is the most important time of a forest’s lifecycle, as this is when previous forest management decisions are evaluated: what is the amount and height of the desired trees and has the forest renewal goal been met.

“The goal of RMK is to consider at least 9518 hectares of the forest renewed in 2021,” says Head of the State Forest Management Centre’s Silviculture Division Toomas Väät. “The number of trees planted is just the beginning of a major amount of work - five years will be spent on growing that forest.”

The day-to-day task of forest managers is to ensure that, in five years, the forest will be renewed. The forest can be considered renewed if there are more than 1000 spruce trees or more than 1500 pine trees (taller than 0.5 metres) or more than 1500 broadleaf trees (taller than 1 metre). This year, for the first time ever more than 24 million trees were planted. Approximately 20% of forests can restore themselves naturally. In state forests, clearings get renewed on average in 4.6 years.

Väät mentions that, while in spring the main task of a forest manager is to organise planting work, in autumn the most important task is to manage the young forest. “We cut down the grass, broadleaf trees and bushes around the planted trees disturbing their growth. We spray the plants with sheep fat to keep animals away and prepare for next year’s planting work,” says Väät, describing what they do every autumn.

This spring was humid and cold, which helped planting greatly, but it has also been good for the growth of grass and broadleaf trees, making the management works in autumn trickier. The July heatwave caused many plants to die, so we plan to ramp up the forest renewal programme.

“A young forest should be maintained to improve growth conditions for trees,” Väät explains. “A pine tree particularly needs a lot of light and space for growth when young, which means that young pine forests should be cleaned at least twice a year. A spruce tree is more shade-tolerant but also needs some help when growing.”

In addition to that, pine and spruce trees need to be sprayed with a natural liquid containing sheep fat to keep plant-eating animals away. The effect of the spray also lasts during early spring when the danger from wild animals is the greatest. Th spaying is planned to be carried out on an area of 3500 hectares.

The ground is already being prepared with a disk plough for next year’s planting works, and small hills are made in overly humid places for planting trees next year.

RMK carries out the majority of forest management work with its partners. Seasonal or year-round work is carried out by more than 2000 people across Estonia.

RMK will invest 20 million euros into establishing, maintaining and growing a new generation of the forest.

Further information:
Toomas Väät
Head of the State Forest Management Centre’s Silviculture Division
+372 520 5734