Too little forest - and too much forest

After Røros Copper Works really started producing copper, then one of the major problems in Røros was the lack of forest.

Karoline Daugstad

Large areas of forest were felled and the landscape changed in character to become enormous open areas. Here, the wind took charge, and it was almost impossible for the seeds from the trees that were left standing to root, or for small seedlings to grow. Many forestry experts who visited Røros during the 1700s commented on how the felling methods employed were not good. They advised the Company to be selective when felling rather than clear absolutely all the trees. But the exploitation of the forest continued and created the barren Røros uplands.

When the Røros Copper works changed over from using charcoal and wood, to the using coke, at the end of the 1800s to extract copper, the remaining forest was left in peace. And gradually trees started to grow again on the empty Røros slopes. Some people have suggested that there is too much forest in Røros. Sverre Odegaard wrote about this subject in his book,’ Bergstaden Røros’ in 1997. Odegaard was worried about the effect of the trees growing up in the old summer pastures and hayfields, and that they were changing what had once been open landscape to forested cover. Around the town, birch seeds started to produce saplings and were changing the very nature of the mining town’s character from, industrial site in a barren landscape, to that of a small town in a birch forest. Others welcome the trees back to the slopes around Røros and look forward to the time when the forests return after hundreds of years of intensive felling.