Järvselja Primeval Forest

Järvselja Primeval Forest Reserve only covers 19.3 ha, or ‘a quarter’ as the foresters would say. It is one of the oldest protection areas in Estonia. Already in 1924, forest scientists decided to maintain this part of this intact forest area as a sample of genuine virgin forest.

In Järvselja primeval forest it is all up to Nature – both the birth and death of the trees. And this is the perfect place to observe how new life begins from a dead tree. Primeval forest offers a good overview of an ancient virgin forest and of the forest’s lifecycle without mankind interrupting the evolution.

In addition to the highest known spruce (43.1 m, diameter 71.7 cm), silver birch (36.0 m, diameter 64 cm), pine (46.6 m, diameter 67 cm) and Eurasian aspen (40.8 m, diameter 53 cm) in Estonia, the students of the Estonian University of Life Sciences also discovered Estonia’s highest known white birch (27.6 m, diameter 54 cm), grey alder (31 m, diameter 32 cm), black alder (33.3 m, diameter 63 cm) and European ash (35.2 m, diameter 60.5 cm) in Järvselja forest.

According to the students, the trees have grown that high because of the favourable habitat, meaning that the trees have been able to grow undisturbed and reach an old age, as their habitats have been protected for an extended period of time.