Svenska hushålls vedarbete : en fallstudie i Umeåregionen
Sammanfattning: In Sweden there are 354 000 private individuals owning forest. Of these forest owners there are at least two thirds that are self-employed, which means that about 215 000 forest owners conduct some kind of work in their own forest. Those numbers do not refer to firewood production, but every year 7.3 million piled cubic meters of firewood are used for heating Swedish households. This implies that many households are also producing firewood. The objective of this study was to assess and analyse the small-scale firewood production in the Umeå-region in terms of persons engaged in the work, equipment used, produced volumes and share of forest-owning households involved in these activities. According to results from a questionnaire, the average firewood producing person is a man between 40-60 years old. The most common equipment used was circular saw combined with a hydraulic splitter (used by 24.5 % of the households). It was almost as common that households used a chainsaw combined with a hydraulic splitter (23.8 %). If offered a new piece of equipment for free, most households (51 %) would prefer a firewood processor. As much as 34 % of the households did not want to change their equipment at all. The equipment characteristics considered most important was that the equipment should be safe to use and reliable to run. The largest share of households (33 %) produced between 14-27 piled cubic meters of firewood per year. Households that primarily use firewood for heating produced more firewood than households that used firewood as complement to other heating sources. A majority (65 %) stated that their firewood production was not expected to change during the coming five years. About half (53 %) of the firewood producing households owned forest and thereby had free access to wood, but most households did not live on their forest property. Other kind of forestry or agriculture work was rare among the firewood producing households. There is a large variety of firewood processing equipment available on the market, but this survey shows that many households used equipment with low productivity. This may be due to a will to minimize investment costs and also in many cases it is likely that the workers enjoy the exercise from firewood production. Despite the relatively high mean age (48 years) of workers in firewood production, the activity is likely to continue in the future since there is a large share of young workers and other heating alternatives are costly. Hence, the continuation of firewood production is indicated by an existing large body of young workers who most likely will find it profitable to produce firewood also in the future. Keywords: Firewood, splitter, chopping, self-employment, questionnaire survey.
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