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Glossary of forest terms

Forest-related interaction is everywhere around us: in spoken language, in industry journals and other literature, in the content of online services, in services and information systems supporting the forest sector, and in data transmission specifications and digital materials used in the forest sector.

In the forest sector, general language is supplemented by professional language that includes silvicultural and other forest-related terms. The multilingual glossary of terms that is being created as a result of terminology work facilitates the monitoring of and the participation in the interaction in the field of forestry and any field of activities related to forests.

Terminology work is about systematic collecting, analyzing, describing, and presenting the key concepts of a certain special field. The final result can be either a written publication or a terminological database.

Terminology work is part of The Finnish Forest Centre‘s and the Natural Resources Institute Finland's performance agreements. The work is supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Objectives of terminology work

The objective of the Forest Sector Terminology Work project is to facilitate content interoperability in the forest sector by producing an extensively approved glossary of forest terms for the joint use of forest professionals.

The project launched an update and harmonization of forest terminology. The methods and tools of terminological concept analysis are utilized in the project.

The starting point for the project is the Finnish-Russian Forest Dictionary published in 2008 by the University of Helsinki's Palmenia Center for Continuing Education and Metsäkustannus. The Finnish-Russian Forest Dictionary terminological database contains about 5,000 forest terms with definitions, notes, and concept charts.

As a result of the terminology work carried out in the project, the content of the database will be updated and expanded. In addition to Russian terms, the new forest terminology glossary will contain inforamtion in Swedish and English.


Terminology work is organized in domain-specific core expert groups consisting of experts from the Natural Resources Institute Finland and the Finnish Forest Centre. Representatives of other organizations will be invited to join the groups when needed.

The core expert group prepares a proposal for the terminological content of the glossary of a certain forestry domain. To support the work of the core expert group, a support group has been assembled from the Finnish Forest Centre's own experts, whose task is to ensure the usability of the glossary in forest owner consulting and business consulting. At this stage, consistency between the glossary and the existing legislation will be ensured.

After the material has been reviewed by the expert groups, the glossary proposals are sent to the Ministry of Justice's service, where all organizations and citizens can comment on the glossary.

After commenting, the ready glossary will be published on the Finnish Forest Centre's website in pdf format and, at a later date, as a terminological glossary Metsäsanasto in the service maintained by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

The terminologist of the Finnish Forest Centre is responsible for preparing the Finnish and multilingual content of the glossaries and processing it in accordance with the principles of terminology work, as well as for making approved changes to the glossary document.

Work plan for 2022

The focus of the work at the beginning of the year is to finalize the Fire in Forests Glossary, in which Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa (Luke), Henrik Lindberg (Häme University of Applied Sciences) and Rauli Perkiö (Metsähallitus) have participated.

During 2022, five new domains will be reviewed (in brackets, you will find the names of the experts appointed by the Natural Resources Institute Finland):

  1. Forest soil (Hannu Ilvesniemi & Antti-Jussi Lindroos)
  2. Forest hydrology and drainage (Markku Saarinen, Sakari Sarkkola & Hannu Hökkä)
  3. Forest stand structure and development (Kari T. Korhonen & Sauli Valkonen)
  4. Habitats and forest types (Juha-Pekka Hotanen & Tiina Tonteri)
  5. Swamp types (Juha-Pekka Hotanen & Markku Saarinen)

Completion of these domains and the start of public commenting will be announced separately.

Completed glossaries

Fire in Forests Glossary has been published.

Additional information

Kai Blauberg
project manager
Finnish Forest Centre
tel. 050 570 8405

Marja-Leena Päätalo
project coordinator
Natural Resources Institute Finland
tel. 029 532 3724

Irina Kudasheva
Finnish Forest Centre
tel. 050 453 1436