The purpose of the trial at a site in Tjäderberget Conservation Park is to retain the feeling of a forest after harvesting and avoiding large treeless areas.

“We are testing this method of harvesting, a type of group selection harvesting known as patch cuts, together with the Swedish Forest Agency in Västerbotten,” said Ulf Hallin, one of SCA’s nature conservation experts and responsible for Tjäderberget.

“The forest debate is mainly focused on continuous cover forestry, and we are now testing continuity forestry here, where the land is never left bare. Group selection harvesting could prove a rational alternative to forest management without clearcutting.”

The Tjäderberget site comprises 14ha and was previously a thinned, well-managed pine forest that is now more than 80 years old. During the winter, about 7ha were felled in the form of a patch cut system. Each patch is 30 x 45 meters, and there are just over 50 clear-cut patches in total.

The harvesting team took no longer than a normal felling operation.

“It feels great to walk around here now because there’s more variation,” added Mr Hallin. “It’s more open and lighter, and the forest feeling created by the forested patches make the felled areas less intrusive.”