Malwa’s products are developed and built in Sweden. Our plant is located in Skene, just 30 min drive from Gothenburg. Here, in ’the middle of the woods’, we build reliable and technically advanced machines for modern, low impact forest management. Malwa produces the leading range of forestry machines within the compact machine segment. All essential parts and components, such as the engine, control system, transmission, cranes and harvesting heads are internationally renowned products, which guarantees quality and performance of the machines. One fundamental idea is not to build machines wider than 2 metres. This is to optimise mobility in most types of woods and to avoid having to use traditional strip roads.
Our ambition is to contribute to timber-rich, storm-resistant stands with minimal environmental damage.
A new era in the forest
We are currently witnessing the beginning of climate change and no-one knows for sure what this will mean in the long term. Today, researchers believe that we are likely to receive 30% more rain and that the risk of cloudburst and heavy wind will increase by as much as 40%.
In northern Europe, moreover, the number of days experiencing temperatures below zero will decline, thus extending growing periods and resulting in woods and forests growing more rapidly.
We also know that increased rainfall makes ground more sensitive to machine tracks. This in turn means there will be fewer days of optimal driving conditions. This inevitably conflicts with industry requirements for a continuous flow of raw materials and a decrease in soil damage.
So what are we doing?
What we are doing is developing and building machines for first and second thinning, which can operate between the trees in standing forest, causing little or no environmental damage and not requiring the traditional network of strip roads.
In this way we are able to help create timber-rich, homogenous forest stocks. And both forests and wildlife feel the better for it.
Storm-proof forests. A possibility?
One can never be absolutely certain but there is a great deal that can be done to create more storm-resistant forest stocks.
The way in which thinning and clearance is performed affects a forest’s resistance to strong winds. Most people agree about this but there are also several schools of thought.
Our conviction is, and our experience shows, that the type of stand-oriented thinning which can be performed using Malwa machines is the optimal solution. The machines are able to move between the trees in a standing forest. This results in more trees left standing, minimally wide access routes and more storm-resistant forest stocks
How many more trees are left in the forest after stand-operative thinning?
Malwa thinning leaves 100, sometimes up to 200, more trees per hectare than thinning with larger machines that require a traditional network of access routes. This can be calculated in different ways but perhaps the simplest, most comprehensible way is to estimate the number of trees sacrificed when access routes are created to accommodate middle- and large-sized machines.
Perhaps we can agree there are between 25 to 40 trees per 100 metres of access route and that the distance between access routes is usually between 20 and 32 metres?
One hectare thus involves between 400 and 500 metres of access route. If we then multiply that by 25 to 40 trees per 100 metres, that’s a lot of trees.
In fact, with Malwa thinning, we’re actually talking about between 100 and 200 more trees left per hectare that can grow into valuable timber.
The economics of thinning forests
Large machines are often more efficient than Malwa if we look at volume figures and production time alone, but their rampaging progress can often be brutal, leaving deep wounds.
- Malwa thinning allows more trees to grow into valuable timber. The overall forest content thus becomes more valuable and the future final felling will provide better net product.
- The value of reduced environmental damage is difficult to price but satisfaction and pride in the forest and a job well done are also important.
- Reduced storm damage in pure economic terms can be very substantial. In addition to worry, storm damage always involves starting over, increased costs and more work.
- With Malwa, it is almost always possible to work in sensitive forest stands at any time of year, since the machines are so light and leave minimal impact on the ground. For contractors, this may result in more assignments and more operative days each year.
The closer woodland and forest is to society and urban areas, the greater the desire and requirement that it be made available for wildlife and outdoor activities.
For this reason, peri-urban forest is often subject to quite different conditions than production forest. More and more cities and local authorities are making policy decisions whereby the forest’s economic value is set up against, and often made subordinate to, environmental, wildlife and recreational considerations.
One example is the City of Gothenburg where the Board for Park and Nature Management is responsible for around 6,000 hectares of forest. In its forest plan, the forest is described as an important resource for all Gothenburg citizens – for recreation, outdoor activities, natural and cultural experiences, green rehabilitation and tourism.
Malwa groups enjoy increasing, regular assignments in these forests.