Swedish forest growth is likely to increase in the coming decades as a result of a warmer climate, while the risk of damage also increases.

As the growing season is extended forest growth will increase. With milder winters, deer species have an increased survival rate, leading to increased grazing of pine and leaf vegetation. Many vermin and some pathogenic fungi will get better conditions and could spread.

The spread of root rot is more likely when harvesting occurs during the growth season. We might see more storm damages in the future as water levels are higher during winter and ground frost is absent. The risk of forest fires and spring frosts increases and more forest roads that can handle mild winters are needed.

Climate zones move north

Climate zones are currently moving north by about ten kilometers per year. Forest owners in the north can look at southern Sweden when thinking about what the forest they plant today will face in the future.

Forest owners in Götaland and to some extent Svealand need to be innovative because the future climate conditions will be more like those we now find south of the Baltic Sea.

Better construction and maintenance of the roads will be central, as well as a better respect for the environment, especially in humid environments and along creeks when driving on non-frozen woodland.

It will be important to try and distribute the risks by planting more tree species than in the past to avoid only selecting pine trees, due to the game grazing problems we can see today. Creating mixed forests can provide more resilience as most pests and several harmful fungi are species specific. It will be essential to improve respect for the environment in the forest in different ways.