Austria - Forestry

Austria has the largest percentage of forest in the European Union. About 46% of Austria's total area is forested, mostly in the foothills and mountains. About four-fifths of the trees are coniferous, primarily spruce; beech is the most important broadleaf type.

Overcutting during World War II (1939–45) and in the postwar period resulted in a decline in timber production from 9.5 million cu m (335 million cu ft) in 1936 to a low of about 7.1 million cu m (251 million cu ft). From 1950 to 2001, sawn lumber output rose from 4,000 cu m (141,000 cu ft) to 10,260 cu m (362,200 cu ft). Total roundwood yield was 19.5 million cu m (688 million cu ft) in 2001. Bark beetle infestations affected production in 1994–95. In 2000, about 7.75 million cu m (274 million cu ft) of roundwood was processed, almost entirely softwood lumber. Particleboard production in 2000 was estimated at 1.7 million cu m (60 million cu ft), with much of it exported within the EU countries. To prevent overcutting, export restrictions have been introduced, and reforestation is widely promoted. Exports of raw timber and cork are supplemented by exports of such forestry products as paper, cardboard boxes, prefabricated houses, toys, matches, turpentine, and volatile oils. In 2001, exports of wood products totaled $4.18 billion, eighth in the world.

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