30.08.2007 - RMK opened a silver birch greenhouse seed orchard at Kullenga 29.09

On 30 August, a silver birch greenhouse seed orchard, unique to Estonia, was opened in the Kullenga nursery of the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) in Lääne-Virumaa. A greenhouse with an area of 1000 m2 will produce in a year about 10 kg of birch seeds having excellent hereditary properties, which can satisfy the seed requirement of Estonian nurseries for the production of 1.5–2.0 million trees.

The goal of the project is to ensure a sufficient amount of silver birch seeds from orchards for sowing in the nurseries in order to produce plants for the renewal of Estonian forests and afforestation of arable lands.
"The long-term goal of the greenhouse seed orchard is to ensure through a selection for the forest owners greater productivity of the birch forests and for the plywood and sawmill industries the availability of quality birch logs” said Olav Etverk, a board member of the RMK. 

The construction work of the silver birch greenhouse seed orchard lasted for almost a year. The construction of the orchard was supported by the Environmental Investment Centre with EEK 1,044,300, while RMK contributed EEK 75,000 as its own share.

As there was no greenhouse seed orchard for silver birch before, forest seed has been used for the forest renewal in Estonia. The quality of the forest seed varies greatly because due to the partly overlapping florescence of the downy birch and silver birch it contains a lot of low quality hybrids. According to the surveys conducted in Finland, the trunk volume of the trees grown from the orchard seed is 29% larger than the trunk volume of the trees of the same age but grown from the forest seed. The greenhouse seed orchard of birch will start to produce seed already in the second year and will ensure a stable annual seed yield as low seed years caused by weather conditions can be avoided in the greenhouse.   

The RMK is a profit-making state agency established by the Forest Act whose main duty is the sustainable and efficient management of state forests. The RMK grows young trees, organises forest work, sells forest and timber and organises caretaking for game. In addition to that, the RMK offers hiking and holiday possibilities in recreational areas and promotes wildlife awareness. The RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.
Since 2002, the RMK holds an ISO 14001 certificate and an FSC sustainable forestry certificate. The RMK was the first in Estonia to receive the extension of the FSC certificate until 2012.

Additional information:  

Esko Krinal
Head of the Seed and Plant Management Department of the RMK
+372 503 8430

Elina Kink
Head of the Communications Department of the RMK
+372 511 0033