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1500 trees planted in the Generations’ Forest in Finland

Published: 31/08/2017
School children planting the Generations Forest in Punkaharju, Finland. Credit: Timo Kilpeläinen

People flying over Finland in 60 years’ time may wonder why they can see a huge 100 in the canopy of the forest made of different shades of green. The pattern will be written with evergreen conifers on a lighter green background made of broadleaf trees.

That’s because this year, Finland is celebrating the centenary of its independence under the theme ’Together’.  One of the many different celebrations took the form of tree planting in Punkaharju from 21 to 25 August 2017, where various groups of people planted together a commemorative forest.

The event highlighted the importance of forests to the country, to Finns and to the welfare of society. During the week, people of all ages -- 600 local schoolkids, 200 students of pedagogy, local neighbours and various collaborators -- planted 1500 trees. EUFORGEN coordinator, Michele Bozzano and EUFORGEN National Coordinator for Finland, Mari Rusanen, also attended the ceremony and proved to be skillful planters. 

Planting a forest together provided the participants of all ages with a first-hand experience and highlighted the importance of the forest and nature for all generations – kids, youth, adults. The diverse composition of the planters was not a coincidence. It was part of the event’s design to draw attention to the high esteem placed on education and forwarding knowledge to the next generation throughout Finnish history.

The Generations’ Forest, expected to reach a mature age in 60–100 years (depending on the species), consists of Scots pine, Norway spruce, Silver birch, Siberian larch and European larch.

The forest reproductive materials for this planting have been carefully selected: pines and birches represent high quality seed orchard material, well adapted to the local climate. Both larch species are of exotic origin but have already grown for one generation in the Punkaharju research forest.  The spruce plants have been reproduced by an innovative micropropagation technique and will be followed closely to detect any possible effects resulting from the propagation method.

You can read more about EUFORGEN’s work on forest reproductive material here

The event was organized by: Foresters’ Union in Saimaa area, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), University of East Finland, Lusto – The Finnish Forest Museum, Metsähallitus