Thursday, November 2, 2023
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Stora Enso has recently launched a new operating model at its logging sites in Finland. This new development is to improve the vitality and biodiversity of forests. This aims to reduce the density of planted spruce to 1,800 seedlings per hectare to 1,600 seedlings per hectare. This will increase mixed-species forests, which is one of the overarching objectives of Stora Enso’s biodiversity program and part of the actions both in Finland and Sweden.
Going forward with forest owners
In Finland, Stora Enso sources wood from forest owners and starts to offer the new spruce planting model for new forest service contracts. This means that the reduced spruce density will take place on planting sites from spring 2025 onwards. However, even though the density of spruce is reduced to 1,600, Stora Enso keeps planting at least 1,800 seedling plots per hectare in soil preparation to give room also for natural seedlings and ensure successful afforestation.
There are various benefits for the forest owners as well. The forest owners can save costs due to to less seedlings and planting work. In later phases of forestry, mixed forests can be further enhanced in young stand management and thinnings. The PEFC and FSC certification criteria also encourage forest owners to preserve mixed forests.
Pointing out the benefit of the program, Antti Rantanen, Forest Service Manager, Stora Enso Forest Finland said, “Mixed forest is one solution to the challenges of climate change and a concrete biodiversity action. From an economic point of view, preference of mixed forests is also about managing risks and ensuring return when forests remain strong and healthy.”
What about Sweden?
Like the changes in spruce density concern Stora Enso’s biodiversity action programme in Finland, similar actions are taken forward to increase the share of broadleaved trees in Sweden as well. In Sweden, Stora Enso owns 1.4 hectares of land (with 1.1 hectares of forests) that provide the opportunity to pilot and make agile decisions for biodiversity.
“In our own forests, the long-term target is to increase the share of broadleaf-dominated forests on our land to 5%. We do this by identifying the areas where broadleaved trees will have the most impact and creating 1,000 hectares of broadleaved forests annually. We also have a set of actions to plant certain species ourselves, such as birch, and trail-plan temperate broadleaved seedlings,” summarizes Emma Wikström, Biodiversity Programme Manager, Stora Enso Forest Assets.
Talking about Finland, Sweden, or the global scale, mixed-species forests build a resilient, climate-proof asset that is needed for renewable materials. This also ensures the creation of vital habitats, for various species, thereby enhancing the health of the planet. Keeping all these matters into consideration, Stora Enso is now focusing on the promotion of diverse forest that is important for forestry.
Read more news on Stora Enso here