In September 2016, some pulsatilla patens seedlings from UPM's tree nursery in Joroinen were planted in Ahvenisto, Hämeenlinna. Pulsatilla patens is an endangered protected species and the regional flower of the Tavastia Proper region. The Parks & Wildlife Finland unit of Metsähallitus, UPM and the City of Hämeenlinna combined forces on a project to save pulsatilla patens.
Pulsatilla patens is a beauty that flowers in the springtime. It lives in the esker habitat and is found in a handful of areas in the Tavastia region in Finland. It requires an open environment with a thin layer of moss, which is why it has declined dramatically along with the decrease of natural forest fires and cattle grazing in forests. A thicker layer of moss effectively prevents the seeds from germinating and seedlings from growing.
The Light & Fire LIFE (Paahde-LIFE) project, coordinated by Metsähallitus, looks after pulsatilla patens plants at seven conservation sites, removing shade trees and breaking up the surface of the soil. A new method tested during the project is to collect seeds from the nature, grow them at the tree nursery and then plant the seedlings back on management sites after a couple of months. This measure is designed to secure the germination of seeds and ensure the seedlings thrive and grow.
The team running this pioneering experiment collected pulsatilla patens seeds from the forest under a permit granted by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and grew them at UPM's tree nursery in Joroinen until they were planting size.