The majority of forests in Finland are predominantly coniferous, with broadleaves often growing in mixed stands.
Forest area is the traditionally most obvious indicator of changes
in forests. Forest area indicates changes in the land area covered
by forests as well as in the percentage of forests compared to
other types of land use. The use of forestry land is subject to a
variety of widely different and simultaneous aims, needs and
wishes: wood production, recreation, nature protection, tourisms
and landscape management. These differing aims can be
reconciled through the multiple-use principle, without having to
segregate forest areas by function or purpose. Forests, however
are very different in their composition and structure, and need a
detailed analysis by many aspects to provide a true picture.
The forest cover in Finland is more extensive than in any other
European country. Three fourths of the land area, some 23 million
hectares (76%), is under forests. In addition, there are land
areas under management where there are only few trees, such
as open peatland and areas of exposed bedrock, over 3 million
hectares altogether. Nearly 90% of the forests are predominantly
coniferous forests of pine or spruce. Nearly all (96%) the Finnish
forests are classified as semi-natural forests showing characters
of human impact. The amount of undisturbed forests is 4%, of
which nearly 60% are locating in protected areas.
The forest area of Finland represent about 11% of the forest
area in Europe (210 million ha). Half of the European forests
are predominantly coniferous, a quarter a predominantly broadleaved
and a quarter are mixed. About 87 percent of the European
forests is classified as semi-natural. Undisturbed forests
and plantations cover 4 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of
the forest area in Europe.
Forest and other wooded land as % of land area.