Stora Enso Launches New Planting Model at Its Logging Sites in Finland

Stora Enso announced on Thursday (10-26-23) that it has launched a new operating model at its logging sites in Finland to improve the vitality and biodiversity of forests. In practice, Stora Enso says this is done by reducing the density of planted spruce trees from 1,800 seedlings per hectare (2.47 acres) to 1,600 seedlings per hectare. This will increase mixed-species forests, which is one of the overreaching objectives of Stora Enso’s biodiversity program and part of the actions in both Finland and Sweden.

Stora Enso defines a mixed forest as a forest in which the main trees species does not exceed 75% of the growing stock. It may consist of coniferous trees (such as spruce or pine), broadleaved trees (such as birch), or a mixture of both. These kinds of forests are the environment where biodiversity prospers, especially broadleaved trees to create vital habitats for many endangered species. Currently, broadleaves are a minority in boreal forests, which is why Stora Enso is taking action.

As a new endeavor, forestry operations in Finland have expanded their biodiversity program with the plan to decrease the density of spruce seedlings. Unlike many other tree species, spruce also thrives in the shadow. This means that when planting density is reduced, the spruce seedlings will let in more sunlight and thus create better conditions for other natural tree species, such as pine and birch. Forests that consist of diverse tree species are also more adaptive to the changes and risks posed by climate change.

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