Briefly about private forests

On the territory of Poland 94% of private forests are the property of individual persons. A relatively substantial part of privately-owned forests is owned by land communes (about 4%). The remaining part, i.e. private forest belonging to farming cooperatives, churches, religious associations, trade unions and others, occupies a comparatively small area.

                                      

Private forests are spread unevenly over the area of Poland, obviously due to the impact of our history. Forest of individual private ownership have the smallest share in the total forest area in the territory of the so-called Reclaimed Lands, and partly in the lands formerly annexed by Prussia as well as in the area covered by the Military Operation ‘Wisła’ in the south-east Poland. On the other hand, in the areas of Podlasie and Lubelszczyzna the share of private forests is substantial: the biggest share of private forests amounting 70% is in the east, where the former minor properties of the nobility and ‘zaścianki’ were located, namely in the Wysokie Mazowieckie county (79%), Siedlce and Sokołów (72%), and in the Carpathian foothills of the Małopolska region in the Myślenickie county (71%). In 224 out of 314 land counties, the share of private property in the total forest area accounts for less than 30%. In 30 counties this share exceeds 50%.

Total area of private forests - as of January 1, 2017 - amounted to 1,774 thousand hectares; the standing volume was 423 million m3 and the average age of stands was about 48 years. The average standing volume amounted to 240 m3 per hectare of the forest area.

Since there are few reliable data sources, the principal felling management tasks were estimated basing only on the data on final felling and pre-final felling in private forests included in the National Forest Inventory and accounted for about 5.5 million m3 gross annually, which comprised: