Generations of sustainable forest management

​The next generation is taking over the forests of Vanha-Pälsilä farm with the help of Metsä Group’s Forest Management Specialists.

2/2020
The Vanha-Pälsilä farm, located on the shore of Poikkijärvi in Kuhmoinen, Central Finland, is a perfect example of sustainable forestry and love for nature. The old forest farmer Matti Eerola has success¬fully transformed an underproductive forest and field estate into a thriving one: the volume of trees has doubled in forty years. 

He has been happy to hand over the well-managed estate to the hands of the next generation. His children, Simo and Hanna Eerola, took charge of the estate two years ago. 

“The story of Eerola’s forests is quite something. The estate is a great example of how you can improve a forest’s growth considerably with sustainable management,” says Metsä Group’s Forest Specialist Pekka Seppälä, who has worked with the Eerola family since 2006. 

The volume of trees growing on a hectare of land in the estate’s most heavily forested area has almost doubled compared to what it was when Eerola bought the estate.

Enough wood for future generations

For a Finnish forest estate, Vanha-Pälsilä is sizeable. Matti Eerola started off with slightly more than 100 hectares of fields, forest and pasture, but gradually increased the amount of forest hec-tares, which now total 240. 

We set off to take a look at his forests together with Eerola himself and the estate’s current owner Hanna Eerola. We are joined by Seppälä and Silviculture Manager Teppo Oijala from Metsä Group. 

Eerola’s hands gently twirl a seedling planted a month ago. Its growth has gotten off to a good start. When managed well, these seedlings will be sturdy logs in 60–80 years’ time. This makes the intergenerational nature of forestry visible. 

The stand we are in, named Terrimäki, went through a regeneration felling last autumn, which yielded 640 cubic metres of wood from an area of two hectares. After the regeneration felling, the area was planted with spruce seedlings, whose growth will be monitored closely for the next few years. 

Ensuring continuity is important for both forest owners and forestry. In Finland, the Forest Act – which requires a forest to be replanted with a new seedling stand after a regeneration felling – ensures that there is enough wood for future generations. Each felled tree is replaced with four to five new seedlings. 

What is remarkable is that, felling excluded, all forest management work at the Vanha-Pälsilä farm has been carried out unaided by the Eerola family.

Forest management in the father's footprints

As an active forest owner, Hanna Eerola is a rare exception, given that the average age of forest owners in Finland is over 60. Even so, for Hanna, it felt natural to take over responsibility for the forest estate together with her brother.

“There’s no single right answer in forest management. I like the fact that I can investigate various views and use them in finding my own way of managing a forest,” she says.

The generational change with her father has gone well. While the know-how on forest management gathered by the previous generation is valuable, there is also a lot to learn, since forest management tends to develop continuously.

“Dad has done a great job, and a huge one at that. While I wouldn’t even dream of learning everything at once, I do want see my own hand in how my forest is managed.”

Related articles

  • 4/2020/ Metsä Fibre

    Comparing pulp grades can be accomplished with Metsä Fibre’s FIT tool

    ​The FIT tool used by Metsä Fibre's technical customer service can be used to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate and modify paper and board furnishes. Optimisation of the stock furnish results in the best possible final product quality, more efficient production and lower production costs. 

    Read More
  • 4/2020/ Metsä Fibre

    A chair for better school days

    ​While Isku interior's new Prima chair may look like an ordinary plastic chair, it is not. The chair is made from a biocomposite, in which the plastic has been reinforced with wood fibre.

    Read More
  • 3/2020/ Sawn timber

    Metsä Fibre’s sawn timber has a new brand image

    ​The Nordic Timber logo previously printed on the protective plastic packaging is no longer in use and instead the white cover now features the word Metsä in a black font, as well as the elk logo in green, and a forest pattern depicting Finnish nature. We also used this opportunity to harmonise the look of the shipping marks stamped on the ends of the sawn timber.

    Read More
  • Sawn timber

    3/2020/ Sawn timber

    Sawn timber is now sold by Metsä Fibre

    ​Sawn timber sales and customer service have been transferred from Metsä Wood to Metsä Fibre’s organisation. The goal is to create a closer link between production and sales, and improve day-to-day customer service. 

    Read More
  • 3/2020/ Pulp

    Metsä Fibre takes bioproducts to the multi-million tonne markets

    ​Metsä Fibre is complementing its current product range with new bioproducts converted from pulp. The best production model for this is an industrial ecosystem in which the new products are developed and produced by partners. So far, product development is furthest along in the advance of textile fibres and biocomposites.

    Read More
  • 3/2020/ Metsä Fibre

    Metsä Fibre’s services to customers

    ​In addition to traditional pulp sales, Metsä Fibre provides numerous services that enable customers to develop their business operations and cut costs. 

    Read More
  • Vanha-Pälsilä

    2/2020/ Metsä Fibre

    Generations of sustainable forest management

    ​The next generation is taking over the forests of Vanha-Pälsilä farm with the help of Metsä Group’s Forest Management Specialists.

    Read More
  • forest, aerial, lorry

    2/2020/ Metsä Fibre

    FibreOnline gathers the data needed by customers in one location

    ​FibreOnline is an information service for Metsä Fibre’s pulp customers. The service provides customers with information about deliveries, product quality, certifications and statements, as well as for other sustainability matters.

    Read More
  • Pulp sheets

    1/2020/ Pulp

    Pulp lends itself to many things

    ​While we've known how to make pulp for over a hundred years now, its versatility keeps on surprising us. 

    Read More
  • Metsä Aspen fibre

    12/2019/ Pulp

    Accurate pulp refining analysis with Metsä Fibre's renewed FORE tool

    ​Proper pulp refining gives paper or paperboard desired properties and often saves costs as well. Metsä Fibre's Pulp Refining Audit service can be used to determine how you can refine pulp for the best result.

    Read More
  • Sun paper building

    12/2019/ Pulp

    China's cardboard market is changing

    ​Consumers’ demand for the quantity and quality of cardboard will rise as the economy develops. For the Metsä Fibre’s client, Sun Paper Group, this is good news.

    Read More
  • 11/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    Sustainable forest management is important to us

    ​Sustainability and responsibility play a key role in Metsä Group’s forest management. Specialists help forest owners manage their forests in a way that safeguards biodiversity and allows the forest to grow well. 

    Read More
  • Sellu, pulp

    11/2019/ Pulp

    The future of the pulp market: these 4 changes are to be expected

    ​The consulting and engineering firm ÅF Pöyry estimates that demand for market pulp will grow by approximately 2.5 per cent a year over the next five years. 

    Read More
  • Forest and sky

    9/2019/ Pulp

    Plastic became a problem – is wood the solution?

    ​Plastic was once considered an irreplaceable material. Now plastic has become a problem to which we are frantically trying to find a solution. There is therefore plenty of demand for a biodegradable, bio-based and sustainably produced material.

    Read More
  • pulp fibre

    9/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    The pre-engineering of the Kemi bioproduct mill is progressing

    ​Metsä Fibre kicked off the pre-engineering project for the Kemi bioproduct mill in the spring of 2019. The project is now proceeding in terms of the environmental permit process, among other things.

    Read More
  • 9/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    Finnish forest management made an impression

    ​Metsä Fibre provides its customers with a service that lets them get to know a Finnish commercial forest up close. A Metsä Day visit is not only entertaining, but also educational, as it affords a glimpse into responsible forest management. 

    Read More
  • A sustainable circular economy needs efficient utilisation of side streams

    5/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    A sustainable circular economy needs efficient utilisation of side streams

    ​A comprehensive circular economy is incomplete without the bioeconomy. The bioeconomy can contribute in several ways to the circular economy, and this includes the utilisation of organic side and waste streams from forestry and the converting of these production side streams into value-adding products. Metsä Fibre has world-leading capabilities in this field.

    Read More
  • Our products sequester carbon throughout their life-cycles

    4/2019/ Sawn timber

    Our products sequester carbon throughout their life-cycles

    ​The high-quality and sustainable sawn timber we produce is used to a particularly high degree in end uses where the carbon remains sequestered in the wood for a period spanning decades or even a century.  Such end uses include various wood construction solutions and furniture.

    Read More
  • Finnish sawn timber is a sustainable choice

    4/2019/ Sawn timber

    Finnish sawn timber is a sustainable choice

    ​Thanks to sound forest management, Finland’s forests are growing by roughly 20 per cent more than they are being used. This is why Finnish sawn timber is a sustainable and resource-smart solution.

    Read More
  • We utilize the properties of northern wood

    4/2019/ Sawn timber

    We utilize the properties of northern wood

    ​Metsä Fibre possess solid and long-standing know-how in the conversion of northern softwood. We know our raw material and the opportunities it offers inside out. 

    Read More
  • Premium sawn timber from northern wood

    4/2019/ Sawn timber

    Premium sawn timber from northern wood

    ​Northern sawn softwood offers extremely advantageous strength qualities in relation to weight, due to which it is well-suited for use in load-bearing structures.  In terms of its appearance, northern wood is consistent, and it is easy to process and treat in the preferred manner. 

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct concept

    3/2019/ Pulp

    Metsä Fibre’s innovative bioproduct concept

    ​The cornerstone of Metsä Fibre’s operations is continuous improvement, and it is according to the principles of continuous improvement that we develop our products and operations. Renewable wood raw material and innovative solutions offer solutions for future global challenges, such as climate change, population growth and resource efficiency.

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre acquires biogas plant in Äänekoski

    3/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    Metsä Fibre acquires biogas plant in Äänekoski

    ​The biogas plant located in the mill area of the Äänekoski bioproduct mill was transferred from EcoEnergy SF to Metsä Fibre’s ownership on 10 December 2018. It produces biogas and biopellets from wood-based sludge generated by the bioproduct mill.

    Read More
  • Metsä Fibre awarded with supplier excellence award in China

    3/2019/ Metsä Fibre

    C&S presents Metsä Fibre with supplier excellence award in China

    ​Metsä Fibre has received a Supplier Excellence Award from C&S, one of China’s major tissue producers, for being the company’s Partner in Excellence.

    Read More