Forest14.06.2017

Take these things into consideration when planting saplings in the forest

Planting saplings is a important part of forestry.

Spring and early summer are a time of renewal for forest owners, who are busy planting saplings. Usually, new saplings are planted into the ground in spring, roughly a year after the felling. Depending on the time of the felling, saplings can also be planted in summer and autumn.

Koskitukki annually buys, supplies and plants around a million saplings, the majority of which are two-year old spruce saplings. Year-old pine and birch saplings are also supplied in smaller quantities and a few hundred larch and curly birch saplings. In total, the new saplings cover an area of more than 500 hectares. 

Planting saplings is not rocket science, but it is good to take a few things into consideration before and during planting in order to ensure a successful start for the young trees. 

Saplings should be planted in warm ground. During the first summer, the sapling should grow roots from the root clump into the forest ground. When the soil is thawed and warm enough, it is easier for the sapling to grow strong roots and start growing properly. In addition to the soil, the saplings also need careful thawing before planting. 

“Almost all of the saplings are freezer-stored and they take one to two weeks to thaw,” says Koskitukki’s Forest Management Supervisor, Niina Hautamäki

The saplings should be stored in a shady place and with the ventilation openings of the boxes opened. It is advisable to monitor the thawing process, as after thawing, the sapling needs watering and care. When planting, the saplings must be entirely thawed, in good condition, and the root clump must be sufficiently wet. When squeezed, copious amounts of water should drain from the root clump. 

“The planting spots should be selected with care to ensure that the saplings will grow properly. Firstly, it is a good idea to plant the sapling in the middle of a patch or on top of a hummock, so that the entire clump and part of the sapling stem are in the mineral soil. It is not a good idea to plant a sapling in a recession, where it may become flooded during a heavy rainfall,” Hautamäki points out. 

In the years following the planting, it is important to take care of supplementary planting, early clearing and tending to the sapling stand. 

For Koskitukki, forest regeneration and agreeing on the planting of saplings are an integral part of wood trade. Most forest owners want to buy the post-felling soil preparation and regeneration work from start to finish, but some wish to plant the saplings themselves. At Koskitukki, the planting of saplings is trusted to professional loggers and logging contractors who have the eye and expertise required for the job.