The growth of spruce and pine trees in Norway, which are now among the world’s largest in terms of trees, has been in decline for years, with a recent study showing the world is losing an estimated 5,700 million trees annually.
But Norway’s government has taken a different tack, and has announced plans to plant 100 million spruce trees over the next decade.
And while the trees may look healthy, they are actually growing at a snail’s pace and in some areas, a new report says, they have not reached their full potential.
Norwegian officials have said the spruce growth has been hampered by an inability to properly maintain and control the trees, which have not been properly harvested in recent years due to drought conditions and other factors.
“The spruce will be the next tree to go under pressure,” said Norwegian environmental engineer Jørgen T. Larsen, who has led the country’s efforts to manage the trees.
“The spruces will be harvested, but there is no way of knowing if it is worth it.”
Trees that are harvested and stored are considered valuable, but only a fraction of them end up on the forest floor, Larsen said.
And the majority of trees that are planted in Norway do not survive to the next harvest.
As a result, Norway has spent millions of dollars in the past decade trying to plant trees that have the best chance of surviving the next season.
The country also has installed fences to help keep sprucs from wandering across the country and planting roads to reduce the possibility of logging.
Larsen said the government had invested $2 billion in spruce regeneration and will invest another $2.5 billion over the coming years to increase the productivity of the trees in the country.
The plan is expected to create at least 100,000 jobs and help offset the cost of the forest regeneration, which could add up to around $8 billion to the country, Larsens said.
But while the government has put a price tag on the spruce planting, it has not outlined how the funds will be used.
Norway is hoping to have the first spruce planting in the region of Tromsø, a remote region in the North Sea, by the end of the year.
The government said it has been working with Norway’s forestry industry to develop a framework for the planting.
In addition, the government will work with Norway to establish an international seed bank and seed-sharing agreement to help boost the planting effort.
The planting will be conducted in three stages, with each stage taking place over four years.
The first planting will take place in Tromssø by the beginning of 2020.
The next phase of planting will happen in the middle of 2020 in Tormsø and Trombø.
The final planting in Tronnø will be done in 2022.