The total forest area in Europe is 227 million hectares, which is 35% of Europe’s surface area
The total forest area in Europe is 227 million hectares, which is 35% of Europe’s surface area

02 February 2021


Forests can be compared to a cake that you may actually increase by eating it. The volume of wood in European forests has grown by 50% since the year 1990, while fellings and forested area have also increased at the same time. Industries based on renewable wood raw material continuously generate new innovations. According to the State of Europe’s Forests 2020 report, the volume of wood in Europe, excluding Russia, has increased by one half since the year 1990, even though the forest area has only grown by nine percent during the same period. The total forest area is 227 million hectares, which is 35 percent of Europe’s surface area.

There is more wood because the forests are denser. The average volume of wood per hectare is 169 cubic metres, which is 40 more than in 1990 – and the total is 31 thousand million cubic metres. An important reason for the increased density is forest management. Thanks to it, the age structure of forests has altered and the share of older forests, for example, has increased by more than that of other types of forest everywhere in Europe. The volume of wood has grown steadily everywhere, except for the western parts of Central Europe, where the growth has slowed down especially during the past decade.
The reason is not known. The European Union strives to expand forest areas, though this is facing two important obstacles: lack of funding and competition for land. The daily growth of Finnish forests would make a 1,000-kilometre pile of logs. In Finland, the annual growth period of trees is about 100 days. Trees do not grow in winter. During the growth season, the total growth of the tree stock is about one million cubic metres per day. If that amount of timber was piled one metre high and one metre wide, the resulting pile would be over 1,000 kilometres long.

For more information contact Mrs Anna Kauppi /Executive Editor:

Salomonkatu 17-A
FI- 00100 HELSINKI, Finland
Tel. +358 400 702102