Latvian territory is made up of 6.46 million hectares of land, 3.35 million hectares of which is woodland (forests occupy 3.04 million ha). Compared to the rest of Europe, Latvia belongs to the coterie of countries rich in woodland. In Europe, forest covers an average of 33% of land, whereas in Latvia 52% of land is occupied by trees.
1.49 million ha (49%) of forests in Latvia are state-managed, whereas 1.55 million ha (51%) of forests are privately owned.
According to the annual report of the State Forest Service, woodland has more than doubled in the period since 1923, when forests occupied just 23% of the overall land. A gradual increase in woodland has also been occurring over the last decade.
In 2008, there were 2.96 million ha or 50.2% of forests in Latvia, whereas last year it was 52%.
Mežu platības Latvijā
The State Forest Service predicts that the growth will continue into the future, as unused agricultural land are naturally overgrown and targeted areas are artificially afforested.
Latvian forests are mostly made up of conifers, though a significant part is composed of other species. Conifers make up 53% of all woodland, birches – 30%, white alder – 7%, and aspen – 7%.