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Forskningsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

The war on deciduous forest: Large-scale herbicide treatment in the Swedish boreal forest 1948 to 1984

Ostlund, Lars; Laestander, Sandra; Aurell, Gerd; Hornberg, Greger


At the mid-twentieth century the pace of the transformation of the Swedish forest increased. New methods; large-scale clearcutting, mechanization of logging and planting of seedlings were developed. Chemicals were used to control insects and unwanted tree species. The aims of this study were to elucidate the timing, chain of events and the spatial extent of the large-scale spraying of phenoxy acids in Swedish forests and the drivers for this practice. More than 700 000 hectares of productive forest land was sprayed and the main driving force was a strong will to transform the forest into high-yield coniferous forest plantations. We conclude that; (1) the use of herbicides in forestry in Sweden was done on a very large scale in the period 1948-1984, (2) the ecosystem legacy of herbicide spraying must be investigated and (3) a homogenous cadre of like-minded professionals working across commercial companies, state agencies and universities is dangerous.


2,4-D; 2,4,5-T; Birch forest; Environmental protests; Forest history; Herbicides; Hormoslyr

Publicerad i

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2022, Volym: 51, nummer: 5, sidor: 1352-1366
Utgivare: SPRINGER