There are coniferous forests growing in most of Sweden, except for the far south where huge areas have been transformed to farm land and villages.
These forests mainly consist of spruce and pine. The spruce is the most common tree species in Sweden, nearly half of the total amount of trees are spruces. The pine population is the second largest, other conifers worth mentioning being juniper and Siberian larch.
Coniferous woods in Sweden are forests with few species. That makes them sensitive to vermin but also favorable for forestry, so they are of great value to the forest industry. Today there are few virgin forests left in Sweden, most forests are the result of forestry activities.
Juniper and pine were the first conifers in Sweden. The pine came both from south via Denmark and from south east via Finland and spread further north. There are now pines growing in the whole country except on the highest mountains. One of the Swedish words for pine, fura, is an Old Norse word meaning raising to the skies. Pine roots grow deep down, all the way to the sub soil water, which makes it possible for the tree to grow on very dry grounds. A pine can get up to 800 years old and reach 35 – 40 meters in height.
The Swedish word for spruce is gran, meaning conical. It grows 20- 40 meters high. In the south it is felled when 70-80 years old, in the north they are left growing for 120 – 150 years.
Pine and spruce are equally important to the forest industry. They are used for construction lumber, pulp and plywood veneer. Pine wood is of great use as a craft material, for splint baskets, furniture, bent wood boxes, boatbuilding and more.