Photo: Metla/Teijo Nikkanen
The research forests are mainly located in the municipalities of Punkaharju and Kerimäki, but to some extent also in Kitee. The research area totals 1 250 hectares land area.
Geobotanically, Punkaharju belongs to eastern Finnish herb-rich area. The soil in the research forests is rich in nutrients: 2/3 of the forests represent mesic mineral soil forest sites or more fertile forest site types. The forests near the research station in Laukansaari are mainly mature forest, but there are also extensive sapling and young thinning stands elsewhere in the research area. Planned forest management and experiments with exotic tree species were started already in the 1840's . Attention has especially been paid to landscape management and multiple-use of forests.
Research in the Punkaharju research area focuses on:
- Growing and cultivation of exotic species
- Provenances of coniferous trees and the impact of climatic change on them
- Genetic diversity of the forest trees
Research forests include Finland's first gene reserve forest, which was established in 1992 in the pine stand on isle of Patasalo. Gene reserve forests have also been established for small-leaved lime and Norway maple.
Brochures of research forests and the arboretum give more detailed information, and different trails in the area familiarise visitors with forestry, forest research and nature conservation in the area.
Finnish Forest Research Institute
Punkaharju Research Unit