Globally Finland is known especially for its clean forests and nature. It’s no wonder, since 70 percent of Finland’s surface are is covered in forests. The forests have been utilized by Finnish industries through the ages – nowadays Finland is one the biggest producers of sawn timber in the world.
Short summers and long winters of the north bring certain challenges to the growth of the forests,
but this is also precisely why Finnish timber grow to be so strong and durable. Finnish forests are full
of high quality timber, that fit excellently the needs of for example the construction industry.
As mentioned above, in the Nordic conditions of Finland the growing season of trees is comparatively short, only about a hundred days. You might think this would cause the trees to grow poorly and end up very short, but this isn’t at all the case.
On the contrary, the short growing season guarantees excellent properties to the trees – high durability, stability and strength. Finnish trees grow to their full size over a 120 year period.
Due to the short summers Finnish trees have sparse branches, which give the wood uniform quality and additional durability. The growth conditions of the forests (which in turn increase the quality of the timber) are also greatly improved by skilled and responsible forest management.
Main tree species in Finland are pine and spruce, which make up about 80 percent of the forests in Finland. This is why they are excellent material for the Finnish timber industry.
Pine is a tree species which thrives in rough and bright areas. About 44 percent of the Finnish forest cover are pine forests. Due to its slow growth pine is very durable. It’s colour can be mildly reddish, but mainly it has a light yellowish coloration.
A pine tree can live for hundreds of years and can reach heights up to 40 meters. The average age of the trees before they are harvested ranges from 50 to 120 years, depending on where the tree grows. Pine is very well suited for both demanding carpentry products and as a main construction material of buildings. It’s also an excellent material for construction logs and pillars.
Spruce is a tree species of lush and shaded areas. About 36 percent of Finnish trees are spruces. Spruce has a pale and mildly yellowish coloration. Spruce can reach a height of 40 meters and and a diameter of up to a meter at the base.
A spruce tree may live for hundreds of years. However the average age of the trees when they are harvested ranges from 60 to 120 years old. Spruce is slightly less dense than pine, so due to its lightness and strength it’s a great material for example the construction of a timber roof truss. Spruce is also well suited to making furnitures and products of the packaging industry and as a construction material of buildings.
Timber is a renewable resource and therefore an ecological material. Finnish timber is almost without exception certified (PEFC or FSC) and the forests are managed by responsibly supporting the growth of the trees and paying close attention to the legal obligations concerning forest renewal. When the yearly growth is over 100 million cubic meters and the amount of trees lost (both to harvesting and natural processes) is about 80 to 90 million cubic meters, the growth of the forests greatly exceed the amount of their harvest.
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