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Future benefits and household use feature Finnish forest owners’ perceptions of young forest stands

  • Environment and natural resources

Young dense forest stands account approximately for over million hectares of forested area in Finland. University of Eastern Finland studies the sustainable management of these forest stands. According to preliminary results of a nationwide survey, 82 percent of Finnish family forest owners use small-diameter trees for their household needs. However, only around 27 percent are selling this type of woody biomass extracted from their forests.

Clear majority of questionnaire respondents conceive young stand management procedures important for the future quality of forest and do not perceive them as just an unnecessary expenditure. In the opinion of the respondents, young stand management improves growing conditions and future potential. Forest owners appreciate if service providers can assure that operations will enhance the quality and value of the forest.

The respondents evaluated several factors according to how those would increase their willingness to manage young stands. The most influential factors were cutting-damages minimizing harvesting techniques, affordable service prices, and higher market price for small-diameter wood. Also, allocating subsidies for thinning young forests appeared as a motivating aspect for forest owners’ thinning decisions.

The forest owner survey was carried out as a part of SMALLWOOD project within ERA-Net Forest Value programme. Kantar TNS collected the data 15.5–25.5.2020 from 1129 Finnish private forest owners. Three-year SMALLWOOD-project runs until January 2022, and it is funded in Finland by the Academy of Finland’s BioFuture 2025 programme, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. The consortium is coordinated from SLU, Umeå, Sweden by Professor Tomas Nordfjell and has partners also from Slovenia and Spain.

Further information:

Professor Teppo Hujala, University of Eastern Finland, +358 50 336 7457, School of Forest Sciences, teppo.hujala(at)uef.fi

Early State Researcher Satu Helenius, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, +358 50 592 2386, satu.helenius(at)uef.fi

Promotional video of SMALLWOOD project – Finnish subtitles

SMALLWOOD project

Chart
Majority of Finnish forest owners uses small-diameter trees for domestic purposes but only a quarter of them sells the biomass (mainly for energy).