SWEDEN (News release) -- In four years, the number of pine seedlings from Södra that are sold has risen from just over 3 million to just over 6 million.
"Demand is so high that pine seedlings are now in short supply, despite a very robust plan on our part. The plan entailed a major business risk when it was presented, even though we were hoping for, and expected to see, increased demand. It is very gratifying that the interest in pine has actually exceeded our expectations. Our goal for next year will be to further increase production and sell 7.5 million pine seedlings, which is more than double the figure for 2016," said Olof Hansson, President of Södra Skog Bisnuess Area.
Södra has been actively informing about the importance of planting more pine in the landscape for several years. Not least through the Kraftsamling Tall (pine mobilisation) project that has been ongoing since January 2019. These efforts have now yielded results.
"The are several reasons why interest in planting the right trees in the right place has grown. It will lead to higher profitability and faster growth, better wildlife habitats, and lighter and more open environments. But more pine seedlings are not the only thing needed for success. We will also need to increase hunting in the very near future, otherwise the initiative is at risk of being eaten up by cloven-hoofed game," said Tomas Andersson, Project Manager of Kraftsamling Tall at Södra.
For many years, far too much of Götaland has been planted with spruce - even areas that are best suited to pine. Due to excessively high game populations, landowners have not dared to adapt stands to the right extent, and have often replaced pine with spruce. This is not sustainable in the long term, since spruce planted in the wrong type of soil will not grow as well, be less vital and more prone to diseases, insect attacks and storms. The effects will be devastating for landowners, biodiversity, the climate, the economy, and especially for wildlife.
Pine seedlings sales have risen 100% since 2016. However, demand is even higher than expected and at the nurseries, even more pine seedlings are being sown for sales from 2021 and onwards. The production target is 7.5 million seedlings by 2021.