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Forest in Småland for several generations. Since the first national forestry taxation in the 1920s, the woodstock has grown steadily. This much thanks to, among other things, increased knowledge of forest management and refined plants that make the forest grow better.
The first National Forest Inventory in Götaland was conducted in 1923-1925. It showed relatively low growing stock on private forest land in Götaland – only 70 m³ per hectare, with a growth rate of around 3.4 m³ per hectare. The percentage of bare land was as high as 16 percent. But 80 years later, the growing stock was 179 m³ per hectare, with a growth rate of 7.3 m³. The percentage of bare land had declined to 4.9 percent. One explanation for this positive trend is better knowledge of forest management and improved financial conditions for small-scale forest owners. Well-managed forests with a high rate of regrowth yield more. Another explanation is Södra’s focus on cultivars that produce better growing trees.
After Cyclone Gudrun in 2005 and Cyclone Per in 2007, the difference between growth and harvesting has once again increased. Although the cyclones had a huge impact on individual forest owners, the period was only a temporary decline, statistically, on an otherwise strong upward curve for total growing stock. Södra plants three new trees for every tree harvested.
Total growing stock in Sweden is 3.5 billion m³. According to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, which compiles the National Forest Inventory, this growth is expected to continue and reach nearly 5 billion m³ by 2110.