Denmark - Forestry

A law of 1805 placing all forestland under reservation stated that "where there is now high forest there must always be high forest." Various measures were adopted to maintain forest growth. Later revisions of the law compelled all woodland owners to replant when trees are felled and to give adequate attention to drainage, weeding out of inferior species, and road maintenance. As a result, forests, which occupied only 5% of Denmark's land area and were actually in danger of extinction at the beginning of the 19th century, now make up 10% of the land and are in excellent condition. The total forest area in 2000 was 455,000 ha (1,124,000 acres). Spruce and beech are the most important varieties. The government would like to increase forest area to 800,000 ha (1,977,000 acres), nearly 20% of Denmark's total area, during the next 80 years.

Roundwood harvested in 2002 amounted to 1.8 million cu m (64 million cu ft), of which about two-thirds came from conifers and one-third came from broadleaf species. Denmark is a large importer of softwood lumber, especially from the other Scandinavian countries, and is a large particleboard consumer. Total Danish wood trade in 2001 amounted to $1.7 billion, consisting of imports of $1 billion and exports totaling $688 million. Pine logs account for about 60% of the total value of imported wood, much of it used by the furniture industry. Danish furniture exports in 2002 amounted to more than $1.9 billion.

On 3 December 1999, the first hurricane ever recorded in Denmark destroyed large tracts of its forested areas. Estimated loss of trees amounted to 150% of Denmark's normal annual timber harvest.

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