A year in the forest…and years to come
It’s been a year since we started our monthly snapshot of life in a typical forest estate owned by one of our 52,000 members.
Jonas Larsson, Managing Director of Södra Cell GmbH and Senior Advisor Forestry, has been a Södra member for nine years with a plot of 20 hectares, just under half the size of an average Södra forest estate. His wife previously owned a Södra forest that was in the family for four generations, now managed by her brother.
“We return to where we began this time last year, planning for the future. This month is a time to look at the jobs for the coming year, from planting to harvesting, biodiversity protection and everything in between, but now is also a time for long-term planning. Forest management is a long-term investment. It can take up to five years to transfer ownership of a forest estate, so it’s time to consider the future well beyond the next 12 months.
Two of our three adult children are quite local and we are talking with them about the possibility of them taking on the custodianship of our forest. It could be in 10 or even 20 years’ time. It could be passed to our children or to an extended family member. There’s no rush, but it’s good to have the discussion so that we begin to share our knowledge and thoughts. Södra’s wide range of forestry services makes the job of sustainable forest management much easier than it might have been in the past, but it is still a long-term commitment requiring an equally long-term vision.
We are also discussing whether our children would be keen to expand the estate by acquiring neighbouring farms that are coming up for sale. Expansion would be more worthwhile and a guidance for us if the next custodians are keen. As fourth-generation owners, we have an emotional attachment to the forest, not just a physical one. Some Södra members are the 11th or even 12th generation of owners. Every second forest estate in Småland is a Södra member. It’s in our blood.
Our first granddaughter arrived in the summer of 2021 and I can’t help hope that one day she may be having the very same discussion with her parents and eventually perhaps her own children, as she looks to pass on the forest once more and continue the cycle…”
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