The purpose of silviculture is to create the necessary preconditions for economically, ecologically and socially sustainable and diverse use of forests.

The plentiful forest resources of Finland provide a good foundation for the multiple uses of forests. The forest resources and forest growth in Finland have steadily increased for over forty years now. The main reason behind the increased growth is the advancements made in silvicultural techniques. In addition to wood production, forests also have several other uses. Understanding of the effects that silvicultural measures supporting wood production can also have on other forest uses helps to better coordinate the different uses of forests.

The silvicultural research carried out by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) generates information, for example, about the effects of silvicultural operations on forest growth, wood production and financial profitability of forestry, as well as on the carbon sequestration of forests and environmental impacts of different measures. It is typical of silviculture that impacts of measures on forest growth only become visible after a long time, in many cases even decades. Therefore, the production of reliable information requires long-term research and systematic collection of data, for example, from long-term forest stand experiments.

Changes in the operating environment of the forestry sector also create new research needs. Luke also carries out research on issues related to, for example, the production and availability of bred seed and seedling materials, mechanisation of the tending of seedling stands, and carbon sequestration of forests. Answers to emerging issues are needed quickly. An extensive and interactive collaboration between silvicultural researchers and different forestry operators provides the best opportunities to carry out effective research.

Picture on top of the page: Erkki Oksanen, Luke