Gathering and employment

Gathering of energy wood is intertwined with forestry activities.

Energy wood is gathered in connection with other forestry activities as much as possible. During a felling, the harvester debranches the stems and cuts the crowns into piles. They are then left for a couple of weeks so that they dry and the needles fall off.

The harvester always spreads some of the logging residue on to the strip roads used by the harvester and the forwarder to protect the soil from damage.

Logging residue is most often gathered as loose branchwood. A forwarder collects it from the piles made by the harvester and transports it to the roadside. The residue is chipped either by the roadside, in a forest chip terminal or at the power plant which uses it.

Where stumps are lifted, they are split and left in large piles at the felling site. In this way, they are washed clean of soil by the rain and dried by the sun and the wind. From the logging site the stumps are transported either to a depot or the place of use.

Increase in use requires many new workers

In 2010, some 6.2 million cubic meters of forest chips were gathered in Finland. This employed some 1,200 persons – forest workers, harvester, and forwarder operators and truck drivers.

The figure does not include managerial forestry personnel. In addition, hundreds of harvesters, forwarders and trucks were employed as well.

If the use of forest energy reaches 12 million cubic metres per year, the need for employees rises to 6,000. The number of required machines will rise several times.

Sources: Finnish Association of Bioenergy Producers.

Updated on the 4th of January, 2016.