Forest15.06.2014

Saplings by the million

Small saplings grow up fast

Small saplings grow up fast

The spring and early summer are busy seasons for Koskitukki, as the company sends out nearly a million saplings to be planted in new ground.

This spring, Koskitukki has delivered enough saplings to cover some 500 hectares of customer forests. Most plantings have taken place in southern Finland. Around two thirds of the planting in the entire forest regeneration area is handled by logging contractors and Koskitukki’s own loggers, while some forest owners take care of the planting themselves using Koskitukki’s saplings.

Planting saplings is an integral part of Koskitukki’s wood trade, along with other forest regeneration operations.

“Forest regeneration services are often co-ordinated with wood transactions. Logging residues are collected and the soil is prepared prior to planting the saplings. All services are tailored to the forest owner’s specific needs,” says Forest Management Supervisor Harri Kalola.

Saplings can normally be planted one year after felling. Spring is the ideal time for planting, but Koskitukki delivers and plants saplings also in the autumn. These deliveries account for about ten percent of the total annual volume.

Spruce saplings endure

Spruce remains the most popular sapling, accounting for 80% of all saplings also this year. Nevertheless, pine and birch are gaining in popularity.

“The share of pine and birch has slightly grown, and they were the first saplings that we ran out of at the nurseries. This is probably partly due to the damage caused by spruce bark beetles. Pine is not so susceptible to it, and the beetle stays away from birch,” Kalola explains.

A few hundred silver fir, larch and curly birch saplings are also planted. Spruce saplings are normally bought when they are two years old, so the orders are placed two to three years prior to the planting so that the nurseries can prepare for the required volumes. Pine and birch saplings are sold at the age of one year. The planning of planting lists and maps is often started around February or March. Logistics also requires its share of the planning work.

“You have to have everything tightly under control to be able to deliver such a huge volume of saplings to the forest,” Kalola says and laughs.