Country Listing

Poland Table of Contents



Large forested areas are located in the western, northeastern, and southeastern parts of Poland, but the only remaining stands of old forest are in the northeast. Conifers dominate in the far north, the northeast, and at higher elevations, and deciduous species dominate elsewhere. Under the communist regimes, 82 percent of forested land was state-owned, with the remainder held by individual farmers or groups of farmers. The 8,679,000 hectares of forest supported total commercial lumber production of 22,675 cubic decameters in 1989. Already in the early 1980s, however, cutting rates exceeded replacement rates, and heavy demand for wood products prevented meaningful reduction of exploitation. A long-term afforestation program was initiated in the communist era to increase total forest cover to 30 percent of Poland's land surface. This increase would amount to slightly more than 1 percent more than the cover remaining in the 1980s. Poland's forests support the export of significant quantities of lumber, paper, and wood furniture.

Data as of October 1992