Holmen’s nursery in Friggesund is now being turned into one of the most modern in Europe. Inauguration will take place in June 2012. Soon 16 million large and robust pine and spruce seedlings will be ready for planting in the forest – every year.
Being little is dangerous in the forest. Small seedlings run a major risk of being squeezed out by other plants, or of being eaten by insects and other animals. However, being big and strong gives seedlings a greater chance of survival. This is one of the reasons why Holmen is investing SEK 36 million in a total overhaul of the Friggesund nursery in Hälsingland. The nursery’s production of large seedlings, i.e. seedlings
that are grown well spaced, for longer and in larger containers before being planted
out in the forest, is set to increase sharply. These seedlings, grown from the best seed
material available in genetic terms, are intended for Holmen’s own forests in southern
and central Sweden and for the company’s timber suppliers.
“It is strategically important to have guaranteed access to seedlings of the highest quality. Sustainable forestry involves improving growth in the forests through active silviculture. Well balanced, large and healthy seedlings with all the best traits from trees selectively bred in Sweden are a cornerstone of this work,” explains Erik Normark, chief silviculturist at Holmen.
At the heart of the new nursery will be a growth chamber in which temperature, humidity and light conditions can be precisely controlled to give the seedlings a really good start in life. The technology means that after a short time in the growth chamber, the seedlings can be transferred to larger growing containers and immediately put outside, instead of the current system where they spend weeks in a greenhouse that is heated using oil.
“This provides considerable environmental benefits, while also making handling more
cost-effective, plus we get a safer and better working environment,” says Roger Larm,
who is responsible for the conversion project. The initiative in Friggesund links back
directly to Holmen’s investment in a new sawmill next to Braviken Paper Mill. The new facility, which came on stream in January 2011, specialises in spruce sawn timber. Forest planting in the sawmill’s timber catchment area requires large seedlings due to
the major competition locally from other vegetation. Large seedlings are also more
resistant to pests. The seedlings from Friggesund will thus play a key role in securing long-term timber supplies for both the sawmill and the paper mill.
“The developments in Braviken show a strong belief in the future and Holmen is going to need increasing volumes of wood raw material,” says Erik Normark. “We know that it is possible, over the next 30 years, to increase growth in Holmen’s forests by 25 per cent. Achieving this will require a whole range of measures, of which investment in the new nursery is one of the most important.”
Source: Holmen´s Paper nr1 2011