Slovenian forest in figures for the year 2016
||350.085.089 m3 (296.13 m3/ha)
||8.659.485 m3 (7.33m3/ha)
|Total annual cut:
|Realized cut represents
||94,7% of possible cut.
|Length of forest roads
|Length of forest borders
||cca 115,000 km
Forests cover around 60% of the territory of the country; Slovenia is the 3rd most forested country in Europe, after Finland and Sweden.
Approximately 11.5% of the Slovenian countryside is legally protected. Slovenia has 44 protected areas for parks, including 1 national park, 3 regional parks, and 40 landscape parks. 35% of the country is protected as part of the Natura 2000 network (sites reserved for bird conservation and the conservation of habitat types and species) and 50% of forests are situated in the EU Natura ecological network. Slovenia boasts 7,000 registered Karst caves, 15,000 animal species and 3,200 plant species, some of them are endemic.
Table 1: Forest area until 2014
|Forest area (ha)
Slovenia has an established tradition of planned forest management. Modern principles of forest management in Slovenia are sustainability, imitating the natural cycle in forests (co-natural management) and the multi-purpose nature of the forests (the forests not only produce material assets, but also have environmental and social functions). Forest management is the right and duty of forest owners, while guidelines for forest management are within the competences of the Slovenia Forest Service, which in cooperation with forest owners also performs tree selection for felling on the basis of the National Forest Programme, Forest Law, and forest management and silvicultural plans. Report on the implementation of the National Forest Program 2007 – 2014 was made.
The main issues concerning forest management are:
• Unfavorable ownership structure hinders intensification of forest management in a way that some owners are not interested in income from forests because of small properties, which results in low cutting rates mentioned beforehand. Additional drawback is that the level of technology applied in harvesting is relatively low and that marketing of timber of small quantities is not optimal. Due to low intensity of management, possibilities to improve quality of forest stands are limited.
• There is increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, causing windbreaks at a larger scale. In the context of climate change droughts are more frequent, following by bark beetle attacks and forest fires.
• Another issue in Slovenia are constrains due to Nature Conservation, having in mind that 50% of forests are situated inside EU Natura 2000 ecological network.
74% of forests in Slovenia are private property, 26% of forests are public (owned by the state or communes). Larger and undivided forest estates of state-owned forests enable good professional management. Private forest estates are small, with an average area of only 3 ha. According to the latest data there are already 314,000 (with co-owners even 489,000) forest owners in Slovenia. The large fragmentation of forest property and the number of forest owners and co-owners, present a serious obstacle to carrying out professional work in private forests, optimal timber production and utilisation of forest potential.
Forest owners unfortunately do not involve actively in the forest management planning processes. The scope and content of professional, systematic and more active motivation of forest owners for management and business co-operation have not achieved the desired results as such co-operation practically does not exist. Progress could be made by supporting producer organizations in the forestry sector arising from funds of the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020.
Growing Stock, Increment and Logging
According to the data of forest management plans by the Slovenia Forest Service, the growing stock of Slovenian forests amounts to 327,458,525 cubic metres or 276.08 cubic metres per hectare. The share of growing stock of coniferous trees is 46.50% and 53.50% of deciduous trees. There is an annual increment of 7,985,256 cubic metres of wood or 6.74 cubic metres per hectare in Slovenian forests.
In recent years, the felling in Slovenian forests has totalled to around 4 million m3 of trees annually, 60% of which have been conifers and 40% deciduous trees. According to forest management plans, the felling could be higher. Currently, it amounts to 70% of its potentials and 40% of the current increment.
Table 2: Growing stock until 2014
|Growing stock (m3 per ha)
Table 3: Relationship between coniferous and deciduous trees, calculated on the basis of the growing stock of species, taking into account forest management plans of forest management units of 2013 and comparison with previous years (as a percentage of timber stock) Source: SFS
Disruptions endangering Slovenian forests
In addition to damage caused by weather (wind, sleet, snow), Slovenian forests have lately been endangered mostly by insects (mainly by bark beetles) that are the most common reason for sanitary cut (37% of sanitary cut). On average sanitary cut amounts to a third of the entire cut and in different years it ranges between 19% and 45% of the total cut. Such a situation reduces the share of necessary tending cut, thus making planned forest management difficult and at the same time it weakens the bioecological stability of forests
By increasing the growing stock increases also the capacity of the forest to sequester CO2. From the forest policy perspective it is desirable to increase sinks of CO2 to a level that all other functions of forests are provided and the sustainability of forest management is ensured.
Table 4: Balance of carbon in 2014
|Annual carbon sink in forests (million tons)
|Storage of carbon in forests (including soils) (tons/ha)
|Annual change of carbon in wood products