Forest health

Severe forest damages are quite rare in Finland. At present, the health of Finnish forests is good but climate change and immigrant species increase the risk of damages. Occasional local forest damages are caused by storms, snow, elk, vole and annosus root rot. During past years, storms have causes severe forest damages on many occasions. The most severe storm of the past decade “Asta”  damaged over 8 million cubic meters of trees in 2010. Snow damages have also occurred in exceptionally vast areas. In turn, forest fires have so far been successfully prevented through efficient fire control. 

European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) has caused serious damage in Spruce forests in Southern and South-Eastern Finland during 2010-2013. Spruce bark beetle benefits from dry, hot summers.

Several measures are taken against forest damages

Forest administration has prepared contingency plans for extensive storms and other damages in forests. The plan covers storm damages, forest fires, snow damage, drought and frost damages, air pollution carried over from a distance, and pests previously not observed in Finland.

The Forest Damages Prevention Act took effect on January 1st, 2014. It aims to ensure that the health of forests is not weakened in the treatment of forests, wood harvesting and storage of wood. The Finnish Forest Centre controls its implementation, whereas the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) monitors the health of forests and changes in it.

Related links
Forest Damages Prevention Act
Contingency Plan for Forest Damages of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Further information

Tatu Torniainen, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162162  


Sanna Paanukoski, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162449