After a trend of declining levels of areas notified for final felling in Sweden during last fall and winter, there was a clear turning up during March. The increase was 16% in comparison with the same month 2019. Region Central Sweden had the largest increase and in region Northern Sweden the levels reached the highest note since 2007, as Swedish Forest Agency reported.
The total area notified for final felling for the whole country was 20 932 hectares in March. In comparison with March 2019 the notified area increased in all parts of the country except in region Southern Sweden:
– In region Northern Sweden the notified area increased by 28% to 3 116 hectares, which is highest level for March during the period 2007 – 2020.
– In region South of Northern Sweden the notified area increased by 18% to 4 475 hectares compared to the same period 2019, which is about the average of 4 194 hectares for March during the period 2007 – 2020.
– In region Central Sweden the notified area increased by 37% compared to March 2019 to 7 222 hectares. This is doubled the average level of 3 482 hectares in March for the period 2007 – 2020.
– In region Southern Sweden the notified area decreased by 8% compared to March 2019 (6 111 hectares).
The increase in notified area for final felling in region Central Sweden is likely due to continuous high activity in the forest sector because of ongoing problems with damages caused by bark beetle.
The decline in notified area in region Southern Sweden compared to March 2019 may have several causes such as large areas were notified due to damages by bark beetle, forest owners adapting to falling timber prices, high levels of already contracted and standing stock in the forests, and in some parts rather large areas of beech forests were notified since 2019 was a so-called acorn year for the beechnuts.
The high notes of notified areas for final felling in February continued in March in counties Gävleborg and Dalarna. In County Gävleborg the notified area increased by 132% to 1 450 hectares compared to the level in March 2019. In County Dalarna the notified area increased by 72% to 1 403 hectares, and in County Uppsala the increase was 66 to 936 hectares compared to March last year.
In ten counties there were a decline in notifications for final felling in March compared to the same month 2019. County Blekinge had the largest decrease by 55 per cent to 172 hectares compared to 2019. In County Stockholm the decrease was 41 per cent and in County Halland 26 per cent compared to the same month last year.
Up to March this year 58 131 hectares have been notified for final felling, which is 6 per cent lower than in the first three months 2019.