In August 2022, the State Forests sold 545,000 cubic meters of the so-called branch branches, which is almost a half more than in the corresponding period of the previous year. Sales of thicker firewood increased likewise. Last week, Romanian Forests announced that they will increase the amount of firewood for industrial companies and households. The spokesman of the State Forests, Michał Gzowski, emphasized that “there is no question of any temporary increase in harvesting”. He added that fuel is sold only on the retail market, where individual customers have priority.
The PAP agency asked the State Forests questions about the possibility of increasing timber harvesting in Polish forests in connection with the energy crisis. Last week, Romanian Forests announced that they will increase the amount of firewood for industrial companies and households.
No chance for growth
The spokesman of the State Forests, Michał Gzowski, emphasized that “there is no question of any temporary increase in harvesting”.
– The State Forests don’t work that way. Acquisition is defined in 10-year forest management plans and we have been sticking to this level, safe for nature, for years. In the State Forests, it is not possible at all to increase the harvesting limit under the influence of the economic situation, regardless of what kind of wood it is. If it were so, the forest cover in Poland would not increase, but decrease – he pointed out. Gzowski added that in Polish conditions, foresters obtain 2/3 of the annual increment. The State Forests were also asked about the issue of firewood, which they sell to private customers. It was reported that, in accordance with the May guidelines for forest districts of the Director General of the State Forests, more firewood was directed to individual clients.
– As a result of this, and slightly larger harvesting plans in total for this year, so far we have sold about half more firewood than we sold in the corresponding period of last year – said the spokesman.
“We didn’t cut any more trees, we used them more efficiently”
Gzowski emphasized that the purchase of wood from branches was constantly active in the State Forests.
– Many years of practice in this case is such that the interested parties themselves put them in piles for measurement. Thanks to this, this wood is very cheap. The forester measures the pile and evaluates it. On average, 1 cubic meter cost only PLN 31 net (there are local differences) – he explained. He explained that the firewoods can be 7 cm thick at the thicker end and thus are classified as small-sized wood, the harvesting of which is not included in the planning of the plant. – The May guidelines of the director of the State Forests were aimed at providing access to as many areas as possible where wood from the branches could be harvested. We didn’t cut any more trees, we used them more efficiently. By the end of August, we had sold 46 percent more of such wood than by the end of August 2021. It was 545 thousand cubic meters “- informed Michał Gzowski. The representative added that the greater sale also concerns – already prepared by forest inspectorates – thicker firewood (over 7 cm), which costs an average of PLN 120 per cubic meter.
– Here, higher sales were possible on the basis of shifting the burden of harvesting to sanitary pruning (dying, diseased trees) and cleaning up windbreaks from the beginning of the year (damaged trees). We sold this wood from the beginning of the year to the end of August 2.42 million cubic meters, 42 percent more than by the end of August 2021 – he said.
Sales only on the retail market
The spokesman for the State Forests emphasized that there is no real information that Forests would sell over 80 percent. firewood planned to be harvested for this year.
– Firewood is obtained, as it were, on the occasion of the main harvesting of wood for utility purposes. Fuel is wood that is either too thin or has faults, making it unsuitable for processing. Fuel appears along with the harvesting carried out – he explained. Gzowski also denied the information that the fuel sold by the State Forests would be bought by German companies. – We sell fuel only on the retail market, where individual customers have priority since May, so no company can collect this fuel from households. In addition, the purchasing procedures for companies are different – essentially two rounds of contracting timber deliveries per year. So companies take back what they have already committed to, he concluded.
Main photo source: Ł.Galimski / zlotow.pila.lasy.gov.pl