31 • 03 • 2021

JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” Starts Forest Restoration Works

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With the onset of warmer weather, JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) starts planting new trees in state forests. In small amounts, forest planting works have already started on lands managed by LVM, and they will pick up a faster pace after Easter. It is planned to restore forest by planting a little more than 12 000 hectares in 2021. The largest portion – 11 000 hectares – is planned to be planted in spring, leaving a part of the planting of birch and black alder areas for autumn.

Mechanized forest planting

This year, LVM Forestry starts extensive forest planting using machines. There will be eight forest planting machines working in the areas managed by the company, one in each region, and it is planned to plant a total of 1120 hectares of forest by using equipment. In its turn, it is expected to regenerate forest in an area of 10 567 hectares traditionally or by planting with hand tools, and to grow in forest and/or plantation forest – in an area of 370 hectares.

“The forest is planted mechanically throughout the growing season. In the first warm days of this year, the first 11 hectares have already been planted in LVM North Kurzeme region; forest planting works will pick up fast after Easter and will continue until the summer, when the pace of planting will be slowed down in July, but will resume again in August and, if the weather permits, we will continue the work until November,” Mārtiņš Gūtmanis, Executive Director of LVM Forestry, talks about this year's forest planting plans.

What will we plant and how will we protect it?

Slightly more than 31 million seedlings are needed to restore and grow forests on the planned more than 12 000 hectares of land. This year, 17.7 million pine seedlings, 10.6 million spruce seedlings, 2 million birch seedlings and about 600 thousand black alder seedlings will be planted in Latvia’s state forests. This year, 59% of the seedlings planted in the forest will be container seedlings, 32% – seedlings with an improved root system and 9% – bare root seedlings.

In order to protect conifer seedlings from damage caused by pine weevils, already for several years, LVM has been treating seedlings with environmentally friendly protective equipment. This year, 5.7 million seedlings will be treated with Conniflex (sand – glue mixture), 2.1 million seedlings – with Woodcout (sand – glue mixture) and 0.4 million seedlings – with Ecovax (wax). A total of 8.2 million seedlings or 29% of conifers in need of protection against pine weevils will be treated. In addition to the treatment against pine weevils, 3.9 million pine seedlings in nurseries will be treated with Trico and Plandskydd, which provide protection against forest animal damage.

Reforestation by planting is carried out in areas where reforestation felling or clear felling has been carried out, while afforestation is the planting of trees in areas where the forest has not existed before (meadows, pastures, floodplains, feeding grounds for forest animals, etc.).

In 2020, LVM regenerated state forests by planting an area of 10.7 thousand hectares with 28.5 million young trees, which is almost 16 trees per each inhabitant of Latvia. A total of 16.1 thousand hectares of state forests were restored last year.