2019 report on the Czech forests: record harvesting and restoration
The ongoing bark beetle calamity is one of the main causes of record timber harvesting in 2019. A total of 32.58 million m3 of timber was harvested in forests in the Czech Republic, of which 95% was so-called incidental logging. Even in 2015, the total year-round extraction was about half. Forest restoration was also record-breaking, with new stands emerging on almost 34,000 hectares, with deciduous trees predominating. The information is part of the Report on the State of Forests and Forestry in the Czech Republic in 2019, which has recently been accepted by the Czech government.
"The ongoing bark beetle calamity puts many forest owners in a difficult economic situation. State support is needed to give owners the money for the necessary reforestation after logging. Despite the threatening condition of some forests, the current situation is also an opportunity to change the shape of our forests so that they are more resilient to the effects of climate change in the future. Thanks to the setting of our support and changes in legislation, the planting of deciduous trees in forests now significantly exceeds, "said Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman. Last year, foresters planted a record 111.6 million deciduous trees in Czech forests, while 36.1 million spruce seedlings were planted.
The year 2019 was a record in terms of forestry in several areas. The continuing calamity in the forests is the main cause of record timber harvesting. The so-called “incidental extraction”, caused by harmful factors (especially bark beetle, drought, wind, fungal diseases), reached a record value of 30.94 million m3, which is 7.93 million m3 more than last year. Incidental logging represents 95% of total logging, which amounted to 32.58 million m3. Compared to the previous year, total extraction increased by 6.89 million m3.
The area of renewed forest stands amounted to 33,894 hectares last year and shows a significant increase compared to previous years. Compared to the previous year, the total renewed area increased by 8,574 hectares. This is an expected consequence of afforestation of clearings after extensive incidental mining. The increase in the area of natural regeneration by 1,149 hectares is also positive, despite the fact that the conditions for natural regeneration are considerably deteriorated in calamitous areas.
The situation in forests was also reflected in the economic results of forest owners. As a result of the significant overpressure of wood on the market, the prices of softwood also fell sharply. The economic results of all categories of forest owners (state, municipal and private) in 2019 were the worst in modern history. The average economic result in 2019 was CZK 651 per 1 hectare of forest, it decreased by CZK 129 year-on-year and even by CZK 2,060 compared to 2017. Without contributions to forest management, the economic result of all categories of forest owners would be negative and the owners would not have the money for the necessary reforestation.
Source: CZ Ministry of Agriculture