Trees and Plants

Most parts of Finland lie within the boreal coniferous forest vegetation zone, at the westernmost end of the vast taiga forest belt that stretches across Russia and Siberia. The most common trees are Scots Pine (Pinus silvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and birch (Betula); but alders (Alnus), aspen (Populus tremula), willows (Salix), juniper (Juniper communis) and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) are also common. Many mosses and lichens can be found carpeting the forest floor - and many Finnish families head into the forests in late summer and autumn to pick common edible wild berries and mushrooms.

Pyhä-Häkki National Park. Photo: Vastavalo/Pentti Sormunen

In northernmost Finnish Lapland, many hilltops lie above the tree line, where stunted mountain birch trees (Betula pubescens czerepanovii) and hardy dwarf shrubs turn bright red, orange and gold when affected by the first frosts during the early autumn season known as ruska - a popular time to go hiking in Arctic Lapland.

In more fertile areas, especially in the milder southwest, broad-leaved deciduous trees including lime (Tilia), oak (Quercus), maple (Acer), hazel (Corylus avellana), ash (Fraxinus) and elms (Ulmus) can be found in patches of lush herb-rich woodland.