Estonia's private forest owners set record for tree planting in 2022

  • 2023-03-31
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Private forest owners of Estonia once again set a forest renewal record by planting approximately 18 million forest tree plants in 2022, the Environmental Investment Center said on Friday.

"The volume of renewal of private forests has been increasing year by year and it is very gratifying that our forest owners are contributing more and more to the shaping of our future forests," Environment Minister Madis Kallas said in a press release. "I am pleased to see that forest owners are working hard to ensure that future generations also have the best possible living environment."  

Allar Luik, adviser at the forest department of the Environmental Investment Center, said the agency already saw from data on spring planting in 2022 that by the end of the year, the planting volumes in private forests could rise to over 17 million trees for the first time ever. The fact that almost a million more trees were planted in 2022 than a year earlier was a very positive surprise, he added.

"On the one hand, the general increase in forest owners' awareness certainly plays a role. At the same time, such a rapid increase in planting volumes also shows that the forestry support system as a whole is working well," Luik added.

Private forest owners can receive support from the the Environmental Investment Center for forest renewal. The grant does not cover all costs, but is intended to partially compensate the forest owner for the costs incurred. However, the availability of the measure is a clear sign that the state considers the good condition of our forests important and offers its support for this," said Gunnar Reinapu, head of the forest department at the Environmental Investment Center.

By species, 10 million plants of spruce, four million plants of pine and three million plants of birch were planted in private forests during the year. An estimated little less than 200,000 plants of alder and about 74,000 plants of Dunkeld larch were also planted. Of other less common tree species, no more than a couple of thousand units were planted. 

In total, more than 42 million young trees were planted in Estonia's forests last year, of which nearly 38 million had been grown in Estonian nurseries. The state forest management company RMK and forestry schools planted over 24 million trees combined.