Finnish forestry is based on the management of native tree species. The management of forests seeks to respect their natural growth and mimic the natural cycle of boreal forests. The objective is to secure the production of high-quality timber, and to preserve the biological diversity of forests as well as the preconditions for the multiple use of forest.
Currently, about 120 000 hectares of forest land are planted or seeded annually favouring almost exclusively native tree species. Seed-tree or shelterwood felling aimed for natural regeneration account for 30 000 – 40 000 hectares annually.
Thinnings constitute an integral part of the management of commercial forests. They are carried out 2 to 3 times during the rotation period of stands. The economic yield can be increased by up to 50% by thinnings.
Trees are harvested using the Nordic cut-to-lenght system (CTL): the logs a debranched and cut to appropriate lengths according to their use on the site. Branches and crowns are normally left in the forest, but may, in some areas, also be used as fuel.
Several Metla's research projects deal with different aspects of forest management.