A year in the life of our forests
We continue to bring you a snapshot of life in a typical forest estate owned by one of our 52,000 members. Jonas Larsson is our guide through the year. Manager Customer Supply & MD Södra Cell GmbH, he has been a Södra member for eight years with a plot of 20 hectares, just under half the size of an average Södra forest estate. His wife Marie previously owned a Södra forest that was in the family for four generations, now managed by her brother.
The days are shorter, the first snow has fallen, but there is lots to enjoy in the forest at this time of year. These could be the final weeks before a deep freeze until the Spring, but not necessarily: In recent years the ground has not always frozen over during Winter.
In the past, forest owners were often farmers too and would work their crops in the summer and attend to their forests in the winter. It is still the typical time for harvesting as the ground provides a natural protection to the soil when frozen and birds are resting rather than nesting. Södra is careful to ensure soil protection standards are adhered to and any contractors must hold a certificate to comply with our policies.
A warm, wet summer has yielded a bumper crop of chanterelle mushrooms and enough berries (blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries and rowan) to fill the freezer for the coming months. We make jams and jellies, including rowan jelly, which is an excellent accompaniment to game and elk.
With any luck, I’ll be able to provide the elk to go with our jams! I grew up watching my father hunt and have the bug too. A traditional sport in Sweden, the hunting season begins around the end of August when the roe deer and wild boar appear. It’s also soon time that we go ‘hunting’ for a Christmas tree and perhaps the odd one as a gift for family and friends. Some Södra members still sell Christmas trees commercially but it tends not to be as common these days with the advent of Christmas tree farms.
For many of our neighbours, the winter is the time to harvest their trees for commercial processing in Södra’s saw and pulp mills. Ours need a couple more years before they are the optimum size to ensure we make the most of them, so this winter we will be able to enjoy the recreational side to the full before the cycle of planting begins again next spring.
Show all content for topic.