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Zahlen und Fakten zum Schweizer Wald

Facts and figures about the Swiss forest

Unimaginable, amazing and impressive: I bet you didn't know or have guessed all these facts and figures about the Swiss forest. Let yourself be surprised!

  • A third of the country is covered with forest.
  • This area is surrounded by approx. 117,000 km of forest.
  • This results in around 1.27 million hectares of forest or around 1,450 m 2 per inhabitant.
  • The forest area is increasing – annually by around the area of ​​Lake Biel.
  • The total stock of wood in the Swiss forest is approx. 422 million m 3 .
  • With an average of 350 m 3 the Swiss forest has the highest stock of living trees in all of Central Europe
  • Every year, 10 million m 3 of wood grow back in Switzerland.
  • Without overexploiting the forest, 7 to 8 million m 3 of wood could be harvested annually.
  • Annual wood consumption in Switzerland, including imported wood, is almost 11 million m 3 .
  • In 2021, almost 5 million m 3 wood harvested.
  • There are around 557 million trees (more than 12 cm thick) in the Swiss forest.
  • In 2022, this will result in 64 forest trees per inhabitant.
  • There are over 130 tree and shrub species native to the forest.
  • Softwoods make up ⅔ of the wood stock; Deciduous trees ⅓. (LFI)
  • The three most common trees are spruce (red fir), beech and silver fir.
  • 76% of the wood supply is covered by these three tree species.
  • On average, Swiss trees are around 100 years old.
  • The oldest trees in Switzerland (yews) are estimated to be around 1,500 years old.
  • The tallest tree in Switzerland, a Douglas fir, is 61 m high.
  • A 100-year-old beech has around 500,000 leaves.
  • A 40 m tall spruce has about 15 million needles.
  • The aspen produces up to 500 million pollen in spring.
  • About 660 forest companies manage the Swiss forest.
  • In addition, around 900 mobile/flexible forest companies work on behalf of the forest owners.
  • Thousands of private individuals (e.g. farmers) also use and maintain their forests themselves.
  • Forestry employs 6,200 people and around 7,500 in raw wood processing.
  • The entire forest and timber industry offers around 100,000 jobs.
  • Working in the forest is dangerous. Almost 1,500 accidents at work occur every year.
  • Approximately 30,500 km of forest roads enable forest maintenance and management.
  • Around 4.8 million m 3 of wood worth more than CHF 380 million. are harvested annually.
  • About 70% of this is coniferous and 30% deciduous.
  • About half of the wood (48%) is sold as "stem wood", 40% is "energy wood". The remaining 12% is industrial wood for the engineered wood, pulp or paper industry.
  • The gross value added of the Swiss wood and paper industry is CHF 4.7 billion/year.
  • Since 2006, around half of Swiss forestry operations have been in the red.
  • In 2021, there was a minus of CHF 29 per hectare of managed forest area.

  • A good 50% of the forest has a protective effect (e.g. against falling rocks or avalanches).
  • That is about 6,300 km 2 of forest.
  • Forests protect around 130,000 buildings and several thousand kilometers of traffic routes.
  • The value of the protective effect of the forest is more than CHF 4 billion/year.
  • Around 40% of drinking water comes from the forest.
  • About half of all groundwater protection zones in Switzerland are in the forest.
  • The filter effect saves water treatment costs (approx. CHF 80 million/year).
  • The value of the forest as a recreational resource is estimated at CHF 2 to 4 billion.
  • Around 6.5% of the Swiss forest area is reserved.
  • Over 25,000 species depend on the forest.
  • That is over 40% of the entire Swiss biodiversity.
  • Oaks are valuable; more than 500 native insects depend on them.
  • More than 1,000 beetle species have already been identified on oak trees in Europe.
  • Around 250 tons of mushrooms worth around CHF 11.5 million are collected every year.
  • In addition, there are 2,000 tons of honey (worth CHF 52 million).
  • And 2,000 tons of game (worth CHF 20 million).
  • In addition, 150,000 Christmas trees (worth CHF 5 million) are harvested in the forest every year.
  • Almost 150 million tons of carbon are stored in our forest (≈ 550 million tons of CO 2 ).
  • If wood replaces oil (e.g. heating), more than 3 kg of CO 2 can be saved per liter of oil.

Status: 2022


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