Managing Europe's forests

Forests may be managed with the goal to strengthen one or more environmental, economic, social, or cultural functions.

In the European Union, most forests have been managed or are under active management. Around 80% of all forests are under management plans or equivalent. The planned and implemented management practices are dependent on the forest conditions and the goals of the owner or manager of the forest.

Forest management involves many decisions at different growth stages of a forest.

Major forest management decisions


Source: modified from Duncker et al. (2012)

The different forest management options reflect decisions under ordinary conditions. However, disturbances (such as storms, wildfires, or pests) and extreme events (such as prolonged droughts) can disrupt the regular management cycle.