More than half of Sweden’s area is covered with woods. Man has used the forest and its materials since time immemorial and it is and has always been one of our most important sources for raw materials. Until this day we get wood for houses, furniture, tools and implements, pulpwood and firewood from it.
From the days of self sufficiency until the end of the 19th century the appropriate use of different tree species for buildings, tools and medicine was common knowledge.
The forests were also believed to be inhabited by various supernatural beings. In the old folklore these were never known to behave badly towards plants or animals but they could in various ways punish humans who did not show proper respect or broke some of the many rules regarding relations with nature.
In this industrialized age we tend to think of earlier generations approach to nature as superstitious, but actually it functioned as a kind of environmental law, protecting nature from mans misuse and devastation.
Lately the woods have often been overexploited, and much wood lore is being forgotten. With growing demands for an ecologically sustainable society the old knowledge of forests and wood is gaining importance again.