Where does the wood come from?

The fulfillment of our demand on timber and assurance of forest persistence are not conflicting issues. Timber in Poland is a fully renewable natural treasure.
16.11.2016

The fulfillment of our demand on timber and assurance of forest persistence are not conflicting issues. Timber in Poland is a fully renewable natural treasure.

The fulfillment of our demand on timber and assurance of forest persistence are not conflicting issues. Timber in Poland is a fully renewable natural treasure.

It is guaranteed by the multifunctional, sustainable forest management implemented by the State Forests which administrate 77,5 percent of Polish forests (the biggest organization in the European Union that administrates public forests).

Gradual increase of timber harvest is only possible due to the steady growth of forest standing volume and growing timber resources in the State Forests.

Foresters harvest timber within limits defined by the standards of ecological management, scientific research and 10-year forest management plans ratified by the Minister of Environment- on average up to 55-60 percent of timber that grows in the forest; the rest enhances standing reserves. That’s why our timber reserves grow year by year, and now are twice as much as they were 50 years ago. They amount to 2,4 billion m3, including those in the State Forests – almost 1,9 billion m3, which makes them the fifth largest in Europe. When we buy timber or wooden products from the State Forests, we can be certain that the material was harvested with no harm to the nature and environment, which has been recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsing Forest Certification (PEFC).

The affluence of tree stands in forests administrated by the State Forests is also growing. In 1991 it amounted to 190 m3 per ha and 20 years later in 2011 – 254 m3 per ha. According to the international statistics Polish forests are one of the top in Europe and are characterized by twice as big average timber volume per hectare as the other forests of the Old Continent.

The main wood supplier into Polish market is the State Forests which covers over 90 % of the domestic industry and citizens’ demand. In order to supply a growing demand, foresters have to increase timber harvesting: since 1990 it has increased almost two times – up to 35 million m3. Because at the same time the forest area and, above all, its affluence grows, scientists estimate that the State Forests will be able to increase timber harvesting up to 40 million m3 in 2013 and up to 43 million m3 in the second half of the century.

It’s worth remembering that 90% of the State Forests’ income comes from timber selling. It ensures financial independency and enables to perform many tasks to the benefit of Polish forests and their users without spending taxpayers’ money (unlike other European countries).

Both our timber resources and the forest area increase. In the mid-twentieth century, forest covered little over one-fifth of Poland’s area. Today it covers no less than one-third. The State Forests harvests timer but at the same time it restores tree stands and is involved in afforestation of wastelands. Every year foresters plant about 500 million new trees, on average it’s 57 thousand trees per hour.