Calculations concerning the growth and sustainability of Finnish forests
In Finland, forest resource data is collected in national forest inventories conducted on a regular basis. These inventories date back to the 1920s. According to the forest growth measurements also conducted in the inventories, annual increment of growing stock is 103 million cubic metres each year (2022).
Besides the increment, there are detailed statistics on the wood felling volumes. In the 2010s the total roundwood removals have been 60 to 78 million cubic metres annually.
In addition to roundwood removals, the total drain in the growing stock is estimated. Total drain includes roundwood removals and the roundwood left in forests as unrecovered logging residue and dead trees. The total growth of the growing stock increased in year 2022 by approximately 14 million cubic metres.
The monitoring also covers the carbon sink of Finnish forests, which means the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide sequestered in forests and the amount of carbon sequestered in wood biomass and forest soil.
Realised roundwood removals
Roundwood removals refer to the total volume of roundwood harvested from Finnish forests.
In 2022 roundwood removals totalled around 75 million cubic metres, of which 84 per cent (64.3 million cubic metres) was logs and pulpwood. The remaining 10.8 million cubic metres was energy wood, which means fuelwood used in private homes or small-diameter roundwood used as forest chips in heat and power plants. This means that most of the wood that ends up in energy use is included in the roundwood removals, while logging residue and stumps are not.
The total drain from Finnish forests in 2022 was 90 million cubic metres. Besides the roundwood removals, this includes the roundwood left in forests as unrecovered logging residue and dead trees.
Realised roundwood removals are smaller than maximum sustainable roundwood removals in Finland
In addition to the realised roundwood removals, estimates for the maximum sustainable roundwood removals are calculated, also concerning the coming decades. Maximum roundwood removals mean the upper limit for felling as we aim for sustainable forest management. The limit is set on the basis of economic sustainability and sustainable wood production, with due account for forest management recommendations and the protection decisions that have been made.
The estimates for the maximum sustainable felling potential by the Natural Resources Institute Finland extend to 2044. The estimate for a sustainable annual felling potential for roundwood in 2016-2025 is 80.5 million cubic metres. The total removals in the whole country in 2016-2022 represented about 91 per cent of the maximum sustainable felling potential.
Various scenarios for considering roundwood removals
Sustainable felling potential can also be assessed with scenario calculations. The background study of the national Forest Strategy 2035 examined the operating environment of the forest sector and prepared scenarios describing the use of forests and calculations based on them. The scenarios were strongly based on calculations made in 2020-2021 as part of the carbon-neutral Finland 2035 – Climate and Energy Policy measures and impacts (HIISI) project, which were prepared to support the preparation of the Climate and Energy Strategy. Scenario analyses made it possible to assess the impacts of different scenarios on the national economy and on wood production and other ecosystem services. In connection with the scenario reviews related to climate and energy policy, the basic scenario of the climate and energy strategy will be updated in 2023.
Total roundwood removals and drain (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
Felling potential estimates
Total roundwood removals and drain by region 2021 (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
Background study for the preparation of the national Forest Strategy 2035: analysis based on scenarios (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
Carbon neutral Finland 2035 – Climate and energy policy measures and impacts, HIISI (2021) (in Finnish)
Satu Rantala, Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy Telephone:0295162045
Katja Matveinen, Chief Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy Telephone:0295162287