2012 / 07 / 03

The largest fir tree in Fennoscandia is included in the Register of Ancient Trees of Russia.

The decision to include the tree in the register was taken by the certifying commission of the All-Russian programme “Trees – Monuments to living nature”, following the consideration of an application sent to the programme by the Karelia Region Nature Conservancy SPOK.

The largest fir in Fennoscandia was discovered by members of SPOK when they were carrying out field research in the zakaznik Zaozerskii located on the outskirts of Petrozavodsk in 2010. Specialists estimate the age of the tree to be between 170 – 180 years, with a diameter at the base of 1.5 metres and a height of 36 metres.

This year members of SPOK together with volunteers constructed a rest area for tourists not far from this unique tree. The rest area within the forest included a wooden table, several benches and a notice board with information about the zakaznike and the largest fir in Fennoscandia. The tourist rest area was built as part of an ongoing project to zakaznika Zaozerskii and encourage visitors to the area, begun in 2011 with financial support from the regional Ministry for Nature Management and Ecology. The main aim of this project is to establish the natural infrastructure and resources required for people to visit and enjoy the reserve with opportunities for recreation, ecological education and active tourism.

The All-Russian programme “Trees – Monuments to living nature” was founded as part of an initiative of the not for profit partnership “Zdorovy Les” together with the Moscow State University of Forestry under the support of the Federal Forestry Agency. The certifying commission which has the power to award trees the status of, “Monument to Nature,” is comprised of some of the leading forestry workers, forestry pathologists, botanists and ecologists in Russia who consider applications to award trees this status. Then, based on the conclusions of experts who have studied the specific tree in question to establish its exact age, they will award the appropriate certificate.

For now the largest fir in Fennoscandia has only completed the first step to being declared a monument to living nature. The tree has been included in the Register of Ancient Trees of Russia and the final decision of whether to award monument status will be taken following further study of the tree by the centre for arboreal expertise, Zdorovy Les.

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