“This exceptionally powerful storm was a real shock to many forest owners. Trees, which they had been carefully nurturing for decades, were knocked down in mere moments. The industry is doing its all to ensure that these trees are harvested before they are affected by blue stain,” says Anders Portin, who is in charge of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s Forestry and Infrastructure division.
Time consuming and hazardous harvesting
“It will take a while to transfer harvesting equipment to the storm-affected areas – and the number of available forest machines is in any case finite. Harvesting costs will be at least 50% higher than normal.
Harvesting work will also be very time consuming and hazardous because the trees have fallen in every direction and on top of each other. Storm-felled trees should only be harvested by professionals,” Portin points out.
"In the storm areas, the forest industry has purchased much more timber than normally during the first weeks of August" says Anu Islander, who is Senior Advisor in forestry issues and follows timber trade.
Storm damaged timber goes mainly to pulp
Trees that suffered the worst storm damage will be used as raw material for paper in the pulp industry. Some logs may also be used by sawmills to make construction materials, for example.
“As a rule, logs that have snapped in the forest cannot be used as raw material for sawn timber. The majority of Finnish-made sawn timber is utilised in demanding construction applications, whose high quality standards and potential for liability issues necessitate the use of only the finest raw materials,” says Aila Janatuinen, Director of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s Sawmill Industry unit.