Slovensky  Deutch  English

Forestry in Slovakia

Slovakia offers excellent wood coverage with 41% of its total land area covered by forests. Over 90% of Slovak forests are accessible for logging, among Europe’s highest proportion, with a well-designed network of forest roads allowing for easy maintenance and skidding.


Of the total forested area of about 2 million Ha, roughly half is owned and controlled by the state. The remainder is split between private holdings, municipalities, with relatively large areas owned by the church. Spatially, the 78% of Slovak forest belong to little-differentiated single storey stands. Slovak forests are medium-density, with average stocking level of 0.8, and an age median of 0.77. The average stock was 234 m3 ha-1 of timber inside bark.

The age structure is positively skewed to favour the next decades, as Slovak forests display higher representation in the middle (6-10) age classes.

Due to the positive age structure of Slovak forests, growing stock is set to increase, peaking in 2020-30.  Defoliation remains below 25%, a generally accepted healthy forest defoliation. 

Slovakia is part of the European Forest Monitoring Programme to ensure the provision of credible data about the state of its forests.

The History

Slovakia has a long tradition of forestry and silviculture. Forestry is considered a strategic industry in the country and therefore its growth and stability is a state priority. The beginnings of formal targeted forestry dates to the year 1426, with the publication of Emperor Sigismund’s guidelines on forest mining dealing with logging, grazing and hunting rights. In 1565 Emperor Maximillian founded the first systematic forestry management principles in his Forest Laws, regulating all timber harvesting. At the time, the Laws were the most advanced of their type in Europe. 

A Mining Academy was established in Slovakia in 1762 specifically to teach forestry as a subject. It was the first ever mining and forestry academy in the world.

A separate Forestry Academy was established in 1807, unique in Europe at that time. In 1879, a comprehensive Forestry Act passed in Parliament established firm state supervision rights over all forests and sets down the compulsory creation of Forest Management Plans. 

In the period 1950-1990 all forests were managed centrally by the state, with a high emphasis on stock accumulation and road maintenance. Over 150 Forestry Managers qualify in Slovakia each year, assuring a steady supply of talent.


(c) SLS, a.s.