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Savonlinna research infrastructure

Luke's Savonlinna research infrastructure is located in the Noheva Technology Park, where Luke and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Xamk form an emerging bioeconomy campus. The greenhouses and technical work facilities and equipment located in Punkaharju has moved to the Savonlinna Technology Park during spring 2022. In Punkaharju, research will continue in the research forests, nursery and field trial areas.

Paula Matikainen and Airi Huttunen are putting samples in liquid nitrogen storage in Savonlinna KASVU1 laboratory. Photo: Katja Tähjä / Luke.

The Technology Platform for vegetative propagation of forest trees is located in the  KASVU 1 building, completed in autumn 2019, next to the Fibre Laboratory. The laboratory for vegetative propagation of forest trees and the associated greenhouse will develop and pilot methods for somatic embryogenesis and cryopreservation of forest trees, which will enable more efficient transfer of tree improvement results into practice, improve the sustainability of forest trees and increase carbon sequestration. The same methods can also be applied to the conservation of forest tree genetic resources.

The Punkaharju research forests are located in the area of the cities of Savonlinna and Kitee. There are a total of eight separate forest parcels, covering a total area of 773 hectares.

KASVU 1, laboratory for vegetative propagation

  • 549 m²
  • Research and development platform for vegetative propagation.
  • Piloting the production of vegetatively propagated seedlings on a practical scale.
  • Production capacity of several million somatic embryos per year.
  • Modern cell culture facilities with aseptic working areas and associated equipment (e.g. autoclaves, laminators, substrate preparation equipment).
  • Cryopreservation laboratory with a capacity of over 40 000 samples.
  • Microscopy and molecular biology laboratory.
  • Several in vitro growth and germination rooms for plant tissue cultures and small seedlings with fully controlled and automated temperature, humidity and lighting conditions.
  • Large cold storage (+ 2 °C).
  • The laboratory is equipped with all the modern equipment needed for plant tissue culture and cryogenics research, including a research microscope with UV light and basic molecular biology equipment.
  • In addition, unique robotics (patent pending) have been developed for the germination phase of somatic embryogenesis.
  • The platform is registered for GM research and cryopreservation of GM material.
Aseptic transplantation of a elm cell culture in the KASVU1 laboratory. Photo: Katja Tähjä / Luke.


  • 547 m²
  • special greenhouse
    • Cultivation of larger seedlings under strictly controlled conditions, including disease resistance testing
    • Two separate 72.5 m² greenhouse units, each with automatic condition control. Both are suitable for growing plants of different sizes and for testing GM material or pathogens and pests. The facilities are isolated and waste disposal is by crushing autoclave.
  • Material services facilities
    • Processing of field trial materials and samples.
    • Controlled sample drying chamber
    • Storage facilities (-5, -20 °C) for frozen samples
    • dark room for optical tree measurements
    • space for field equipment and staff

Research forests

  • The Punkaharju research forests have a total of eight separate parcels, covering a total area of 773 hectares.
  • The core area of the research forests is the Research Park in Punkaharju, which covers 336 hectares. The Research Park is characterised by the presence of foreign tree plantations and forestry experiments and collections. The research park is located near the Lusto Forest Museum and has become an interesting hiking destination.
  • The research forests use the same treatment lines as the other areas. The total number of experiments in the Punkaharju forests is about 350, covering an area of 280 hectares.
  • A virtual version of the research park is also available: the area and the research activities carried out there, as well as the various forms of forest bioeconomy, opportunities and multiple uses of forests in general, can be found at
Esko Oksa taking measurements in the Punkaharju research forest. Photo: Katja Tähjä / Luke.

Areas of research

  • Vegetative propagation of forest trees
  • Growing of special trees
  • Non-native tree species
  • Forestry
  • Processed forest reproductive material
  • Wood quality characteristics

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