As you might know, Sweden is located at very Northern latitudes but thank’s to the Golf stream its possible to grow both trees and agriculture crops. Normally, tree heights and sizes are not huge as in western US and Canada. Or as in rich alp slopes in Europe. But at some places, where the conditions are very good, natural spruce (Picea Abies) can grow both well and tall.
The most optimum conditions seems to be in the province of Värmland, close to the Norwegian border almost at the same latitude as Stockholm. Here are some soils affected by hyperite mineral and in long slopes, with rich water supply the growing conditions are excellent. The tallest spruce in Sweden growed here, north of the small village Lekvattnet. It was appr 48 meters high but was felled in 2011 after it died and dried. Today it can be seen at “lit the parade” in the village heritage center.
Is there a 50 meter tall spruce in Sweden?
Last autumn, Fredrik and I visited the area to see som really nice spruce stands. Some of them with tree heights over 40 meters. People told us that there are taller spruces to find but we found the tallest pine (Pinus Silvestris) in Sweden! 37,8 meter high. You can see a video of this here (only in Swedish).
Researchers at the Swedish university of agriculture and forestry (SLU) in Umeå heard about this and they contacted us. The researchers told us that they had done some simulations with (stand and ground) laser data from the national laser survey. They had filtered the data to find “hot spots” where tall trees could be expected to be found. And they asked us if we would like to check those hot spots? And sure we did!
So, last week we visited one of those sites. An old (and protected) spruce stand in Värmland. In Mölnbacka just some 40 km north of lake Vänern, Close to the Klarälven river. We found some really nice trees here and among them several spruces taller than 45 meters. One of the spruces had a diameter of 100 cm (40 in), a height of 45,5 meters and a wood volume of 12,5 cubic meters. Very impressive to be in Sweden!
Video and pictures
Here you can see some pictures from this stand and a video we made from the visit (in Swedish but subtitles in English). As soon as the snow melts, we will continue our search for tall spruces. So, stay tuned!
It would be quite interesting to know what kind of tree species and sizes you have where you live and work?