The EU-28 had close to 182 million hectares (ha) of forests and other wooded land, corresponding to 43 % of its land area (excluding lakes and large rivers; see Table 6.1). Wooded land covers a slightly greater proportion of the land than is used for agriculture (some 41 %). In seven EU Member States, more than half of the land area was wooded in 2015. Just over three quarters of the land area was wooded in Finland and Sweden, while Slovenia reported 63 %; the remaining four EU Member States, each with shares in the range of 54–56 %, were Estonia, Latvia, Spain and Portugal, and in Greece the share of wooded area was 50 %.
Sweden reported the largest wooded area in 2015 (30.5 million ha), followed by Spain (27.6 million ha), Finland (23.0 million ha), France (17.6 million ha), Germany (11.4 million ha) and Italy (11.1 million ha). Of the total area of the EU-28 covered by wooded land in 2015, Sweden accounted for 16.8 %. Spain (15.2 %) and Finland (12.7 %) were the only other EU Member States to record double-digit shares.
Not all data are available for both forests and other wooded land; ownership is one example. Just 60.3 % of the EU-28’s forests were privately owned in 2010. There were 11 EU Member States where the share of privately owned forests was above the EU-28 average, peaking at 97.0 % in Portugal. By contrast, the share of privately owned forests was below 20 % in Poland and Bulgaria (where the lowest proportion was recorded, at 12.1 %).
The growing stock of timber in forests and other wooded land in the EU-28 totalled some
26.3 billion m³ (over bark) in 2015: Germany had the highest share (13.9 %), followed by Sweden (11.4 %) and France (10.9 %). Germany also had the largest growing stock in forests available for wood supply in 2015, some 3.5 billion m³, while Finland, Poland, France and Sweden each reported between 2.0 and 2.7 billion m³. The net annual increment — i.e. the average growth in volume of the stock of living trees available at the start of the year minus the average natural mortality of this stock — in forests available for wood supply was also highest in Germany, amounting to 119 million m³ in 2015 (16.5 % of the total increase for the EU-28), while Sweden, France and Finland each accounted for between 11 % and 13 % of the net annual increment in the EU.