We spare rare broadleaved trees in our wood supply

In Finland, Metsä Group only purchases pine, spruce and birch, as well as aspen with a diameter of less than 40 centimetres. This policy has been in force since June 2022. Sturdy aspen and other broadleaved trees that are rarely found in forests, such as the great sallow, bird cherry, rowan and alder, will be left in the forest. They are key tree species that support a diverse range of living organisms.

Pine, spruce and birch account for 97 per cent of the volume of Finnish forests. With all the other tree species accounting for the remaining three per cent, it is important to preserve and increase the volume of rare broadleaved trees – for the sake of forest nature and our adaptation to climate change. Species richness is thought to improve forests’ ability to remain healthy and thrive in a changing environment.

Different trees are favoured by different species. For example, the great willow, which flowers early in the spring, is important to pollinators. The trees that are retained form diverse range of species that remain across rotation periods and contribute to the generation of decaying wood in commercial forests.

Applicable to standing and delivery sales

The policy on rare broadleaved trees applies to both standing and delivery sales. If, in connection with felling, owner-members wish the rarer broadleaved trees to be felled for their own firewood use, it can be done the same way as before. However, this is not recommended due to biodiversity aspects.

In connection with young forest management and preliminary clearing, rarer broadleaved trees can also be felled, but Metsä Group will not purchase them for energy production. Nevertheless, the forest owner can make such trees into firewood or sell as energy, if they wish.

Metsä Group performs young stand management in accordance with the best practices for forest management. At different stages of young stand management, a suitable number of broadleaved trees are left in the forest to promote the establishment of mixed forests. For example, a mix of broadleaved trees has been shown to improve tree growth in spruce-dominated forests. Ideally, broadleaved trees that are rarely found in forests are worth to be assigned as retention trees in the early stages of forest management.