Forests cover about 85% (1.5 mill. ha) of the land area of North Karelia. There are nearly twice as much forests per inhabitant as in the country on an average. About half of the forests of the province are privately owned; companies own one fifth as does the state, too.
Most of Finland belongs to the northern coniferous forest belt, which rings around the Earth from Eurasia to North America. North Karelia is a meeting place of the southern Lake Area and the northern coniferous forest belt. As one moves north, dry moss and lichen forests increase and the peatland type changes from raised bog to string fen (aapa).
Pine is the dominant tree, but also spruce and birch are common. Forests with grove-like vegetation, true groves and other forest types with luxuriant vegetation constitute only 15% of the forest land, true groves only 1%. About one third of the forest land is covered with moist moss forests or corresponding drained peatland. Dryish moss and lichen forests constitute about a third and dry and meagre moss and lichen forests 15% of the forest land.
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