Forest management play an important part in the work of managing SCA’s forest holding. By ensuring the forest grows, we secure valuable raw material for our industries. SCA invests approximately SEK 150-200m every year in forest management measures.
Forest management encompasses site preparation, pre-commercial thinning and planting. In 2017, SCA conducted forest management activities on about 60,000 hectares of SCA's own forest.
Soil scarification is the measure that lays the foundation for good forest management by preparing the soil for the seedlings to be planted so they are in the optimal place for growth. In 2017, soil scarification was carried out on approximately 17,000 hectares of land.
32 million seedlings
One or two years after soil scarification, it is time for planting and last year we planted more than 32 million seedlings on about 16,000 hectares of land. Swedish pine was the most common tree species and accounted for 75% of planting. In addition, we planted 13% contorta pine, 11% spruce and almost 1% larch.
"On average, we plant 2,300 seedlings per hectare, which corresponds to two or three seedlings for each tree we harvest. And the seedlings are naturally from our own nurseries," says Leif Johansson, who is responsible for forest management issues at the forest management staff function.
When the trees have grown to become about 2-3 meters high, it is time to thin the forest to facilitate subsequent felling operations and to encourage future forest growth. In 2017, pre-commercial thinning was conducted on 26,000 hectares of land.
"We are very good at managing forest, producing high quality at a favorable cost. This is due to our extensive experience in this area and our comprehensive quality chain where we can monitor everything we do using quality declarations. Thanks to this, we know how to manage the forest in the best possible manner to ensure high quality for the raw material of the future," says Leif.
Digital forest management
Forest management activities have been followed up digitally for a number of years and the final link was added this year.
"This year, we have introduced digital regeneration control. This means we visit the regenerated forest two years after planting and see how it is growing and if it shows signs of insect damage or other damage. Everything is reported in our computer system via mobile phone apps, which really facilitate data collection," says Leif.
Helping other forest owners
In addition to performing forest management measures in SCA's own forest, the company also works to help other private forest owners who sell their timber to us. In 2017, we performed forest management activities for other forest owners on about 15,600 hectares of land.