The understorey vegetation in a lichen–Scots pine forest was monitored during 20 years before and after clear-felling. Plots with and without logging residues were compared concerning the general pattern of the vegetation dynamics and changes in species composition, dominance, richness, evenness and diversity. The succession of both treatments had a clear principal component analysis (PCA) pattern of a 'stepwise arch-shaped diverging' trend mainly driven by 'pioneer' lichens, 'reindeer' lichens and Calluna vulgaris. The difference between the residue treatments was significant regarding succession of vascular plants, bryophytes and 'reindeer' lichens. The nitrogen indicators Epilobium angustifolium and Deschampsia flexuosa were favoured on plots with logging residues.