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Land preparation and planting

Land preparation

Soil preparation is the first step in regeneration and is usually done in the second bare ground season after a regeneration felling. The purpose of soil preparation is to give the plants the best conditions to survive and grow well.

All forest owners are obliged to reforest after felling on their property under the Forestry Act. Even if you outsource felling and regeneration, you are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of the Forestry Act for adequate regeneration after felling. You should therefore have a plan for reforestation even before felling.

Good soil preparation gives the plant a good start in life:
• The mineral soil is loosened, which favors the root growth of the plant
• Soil temperature increases, reducing the risk of frost damage
• Nutrients are released
• The exposed mineral soil provides some protection against weevils.
• Competition from other vegetation is reduced
• Planting work is facilitated

The choice of soil preparation method is governed by site conditions. Harrowing is preferable on dry, nutrient-poor soils and piling on nutrient-rich, moist soils. Normally, the site is rested one bare ground season, prepared the second and planted the third bare ground season. Under certain conditions, the measures can be carried out at another time.

During soil preparation, consideration is given to the environments and structures that have been excluded from felling, such as saved trees, flames, high stumps, impediments, paths, anthills, ancient and cultural monuments, edge zones and saved groups, etc.


Today, improved seedlings are used to give a good start to the new forest stand. Improved seedlings grow more than 30 percent better than those from natural seed dispersal in the forest. Soil fertility, structure and moisture determine the choice of tree species. On drier soils pine is generally suitable and on wetter soils spruce. Planting is usually done one bare ground season after soil preparation. Planting is done in both spring and fall. Delivered seedlings are handled according to the supplier’s instructions.

The seedling is planted deeply so that the entire root ball is below the soil surface. The soil at the plant is trampled so that the roots have good contact with the soil. The seedling should be placed high in the mineral soil, preferably close to the ‘hinge’ of the humus layer or in reverse compact peat. The number of plants per hectare is determined by how fertile the soil is, but as a rule you should plant between 2000-2500 plants/ha.

Remember not to leave plastic or cardboard boxes in the forest. Some time after planting, the work is checked by monitoring the number of plants planted.


Seeding is a regeneration method used on a small proportion of the regeneration area, mainly of the pine tree species. As a rule, improved plantation seed is used. On certain sites, sowing can provide good conditions for creating dense plantations. Seeding succeeds best on dry and healthy grassland types with little to moderate vegetation and is usually carried out at the same time as soil preparation.

Our contractors are obliged to carry out self-monitoring and report back on the work carried out.