Record 18.7 million trees to be planted in state forest (1)
This year, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) will plant 18.7 million trees in the state forest. That is 14 trees for each person living in Estonia. Helicopters will be used to transport seedlings to inaccessible areas.
According to Rainer Laigu, Chief Specialist of Forest Management at RMK, forest planters will have some really busy weeks ahead of them. “Every day almost half a million of plants will be planted, an area that is equivalent to one football pitch per minute,” Laigu said. All in all, 200,000 more trees are being planted in the state forest than last year.
During the six-week planting period, RMK will provide seasonal jobs to 1,700 people in its nurseries and the forest. It has already recruited the necessary employees.
RMK will mostly plant coniferous trees: 10.1 million pines and 7.3 million spruces. 1.3 million deciduous trees - mainly birches, but also some black alders, will be planted as well. “The lion’s share of the plants will be planted in spring; however, for the fourth year in a row, we will also leave some of the forest renewal to the autumn months,” Laigu explained, adding that 700,000 spruces will be left waiting for the autumn planting season this year.
The largest number, nearly 3.4 million trees, will be planted in Ida-Viru County, which is the most forested area in Estonia, and where oil shale quarries are currently being reforested.
If the plants are normally transported to the clear cut areas via an off-road vehicle, tractor or an ATV, then for the second consecutive year, RMK will be transporting plants to inaccessible areas via helicopter. When foresting the quarries, where the soil is very dry, the plants are dipped into a hydrogel solution before planting, which significantly improves their ability to grow.
Altogether, RMK is renewing 9800 hectares of forests this year, 2000 hectares of which is being left to natural reforestation. The plants required for the renewal of the state forest are grown by RMK in eight nurseries across Estonia; one million potted pine plants will also be bought in from Latvia.