Working in the forest

In Finland we are more than 3,000 forest professionals, including UPM employees as well as contractors and their employees. We work in forests owned by UPM, purchase wood from private forest owners and manage their forests.


Professionals are not born. They are made through education, experience and the desire to improve and learn new things. We work in forests and respect nature. For most of us, forests are both a means of livelihood and a pleasant environment in which to spend our free time.

We have all acquired an education before beginning our career. You can learn more about our educational backgrounds here.

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We provide education and training events for our own employees and for employees working for our contractors. Classroom education and field training events discussing various topics are organised at regular intervals. We also require that all of the persons working for us in the forest know the guidelines relevant to their job, read them in our Aarnikotka (Griffin) e-learning environment and pass the related electronic competence test. 

Monitoring the quality of work is part of our competence development. Our salaried employees control the quality and our contractors carry out self-monitoring at thousands of sites every year. Customers and stakeholders also provide us with valuable feedback. In the case of certified quality and environmental management systems and forest certification schemes, quality assurance is performed by external auditors, as well. For many years now, UPM has also regularly purchased forest and nature management assessment services from Tapio. Learn more about this from the article Quality assessment: a tool for operations development

All of us share in common professionalism and a passion for working to achieve the best possible results for the forests and our customers. We know forests, make observations, identify different situations and take them into account in our operations. You can learn more about us and our work through the following articles and videos.

Forest customer representatives and forest specialists

Our forest customer representatives work with forest owners and agree on the implementation of harvesting and forest management tasks with them. Forest specialists support forest customer representatives by creating forestry plans and planning stands to be harvested. They are also responsible for managing the UPM forests in their own region.

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Forest specialist Robert Lindqvistin enjoys working in the forest (in Swedish)

Planning a FSC® stand for cutting is familiar for forest specialis Jari Peltonen

Forest machine operators

Forest machine operators carry out harvesting in accordance with the plan agreed by our forest customer representative and the forest owner. Professional operators are responsible and know how to handle their machines so that the forest owner and the operator himself can be satisfied with the quality of work. They also know the characteristics of areas to be left in their natural state and know how to act, even if an area to be left intact was not known in the planning stage.

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Operations planners and truck drivers

In order for harvesters to be at the correct location at the right time and for the logs to be transported from forest to mill in a timely manner, an operations planner is needed. The planner is responsible for coordinating the available stands and mill needs. Log truck operators then take care of the timely transport of the wood from forest to mill or terminal.

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Watch the videos:

Harvesting and wood logistics - seemless cooperation required (in Finnish)

Truck driver Toni Silván about his working environment (in Finnish)

Professionals growing new forests

When a forest area has been harvested, it can either be left to regenerate naturally or seeds can be sown or seedlings planted. At our tree nursery in Joroinen, Finland, professionals take care of the seeds and grow high quality tree seedlings to be planted in the forests owned by UPM and by private forest owners.

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From seed to seedling at our tree nursery in Joroinen (in Finnish)

Operation supervisor

The operation supervisor is responsible for having the necessary forestry work carried out on time. This means soil preparation, sowing, planting, seedling stand management and other operations needed to make the forest flourish. The operation supervisor is the immediate supervisor of the forest workers and coordinator of the work of contractors.

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Forest workers and contractors

Without forestry operations, a new forest will become too dense, reducing the profits of the forest owners. A forest worker and a planting equipment or a clearing saw make a powerful team in areas to be planted or seedling stand to be managed. A planting machine or  an uprooter controlled by a professional machine operator is also an efficient tool in planting and cleaning sapling stands.

The seedlings have space and light to grow after forest worker Jukka Hapulahti has cleared the seedling stand (in Finnish)

Seedling stand management by machine (in Finnish)

Franchising contractors like Metsäpalvelu Kärkkäinen are part of the UPM Silvesta forest worker team. They are also professionals to remove safely also trees from private yards (in Finnish)

Environmental specialists

Our professionals respect nature, and this is also visible in their work. Our environmental specialists support both our own employees and our contractors's employees and provide them with training and advice related to responsible and sustainable forest management.

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Each year, we provide work for trainees from educational institutions, as well as for other summer workers.

Learn more about UPM as an employer and about our job opportunities

Others working in the forest

Forests also provide work for many other professionals, such as wilderness guides who know forests and forest-related rules and regulations like the back of their hand. 

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For many youngsters planting trees is the first summer job in Finland. In summer 2011 several teenagers worked also at our tree nursery in Joroinen (in Finnish)

Safety in forests

Safety is our top priority in all our operations. In forests, the risks and potential hazards are different than in urban environments or on the streets, or when working at a mill or an office. However, it is possible to prepare for all circumstances and prevent accidents from occurring. All it takes is having the right attitude and using safe working methods and safety equipment and learning how to use them.

We pay particular attention to the continuous development of the occupational safety and wellbeing of our own and our contractors' forest professionals. For example, we have developed a mobile application that enables those working in the forest alone to call for help if necessary. We have also set up the UPM Contractor Safety Team, which is composed of representatives of our contractors and convenes regularly to discuss new ways of developing safe working methods. The first impressions of the team's work are promising. Continuous reporting and analysis related to hazardous situations, safety observations and risk assessments are also effective in preventing accidents and promoting wellbeing at work. 

Welcome to the forest  -  safely

In addition to our forest professionals, there can also be a variety of others in forests, such as forest owners, hikers, berry pickers and trail runners. In the same area, there can be several operations going on at the same time, with large machinery harvesting trees and transporting them to the roads and onwards to mills. All this can take place in an uneven terrain, often with poor visibility.

Our contractors' machine operators are happy to talk about their work and welcome guests, but surprise visitors may put their own safety at risk. To avoid accidents, all our worksites with heavy machinery have a sign indicating the safety instructions for visitors and the telephone number of the machine operator. Calling the machine operator, wearing high-visibility clothing and keeping a safe distance from the machine are easy ways of ensuring that the visit is safe and pleasant for all parties. We provide our forest owners with high-visibility vests when the wood transaction agreement is signed. 

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Watch the videos:

Making yourself visible is important when appoaching a harvesting site (in Finnish)

Visiting a harvesting site safely (in Finnish)

Safety and ergonomics are important when clearing the seedling stand (in Finnish)

Cutting trees safely near to electric lines and in populated areas (in Finnish)

Safety is priority number 1 when forest worker is assisted by a machine in cutting trees (in Finnish)