Why are forests in Germany disappearing?

The forests are very important for our society. They produce oxygen, supply wood, store coal and are vital Habitats for animals. But they are disappearing.

The main problems are the following: weather extremes (droughts, rainfalls) and insect infestations of forests Because of climate change, weather extremes are becoming more frequent, with extreme rainfalls in spring and autumn happening more often. If the rain softens the ground, the trees may fall down faster when they are hit by strong winds. Many trees fall down because their roots are not strong and deep enough. 

Another huge problem is the threat to trees by the bark beetle. Their optimal development temperature is 30°C. The global warming and the warmer summer days in Germany ensures that the beetles can spread better and faster. One female beetle, can produce between 100.000 to 250.000 descendants in only 1 year. The beetles lay their eggs into the tree bark. A healthy tree can protect itself by producing more tree resin, but droughts and less rainfall prevent them from protecting themselves. So the trees die after 6 weeks and fall down. Dead trees must be removed from the forest immediately, otherwise the bark beetle will spread to other trees, but due to the large number of fallen trees, it is impossible to remove all trees. That means the beetle can spread even faster. 

In Germany, 11.400.000 ha are covered with forest. Currently, 250.000 ha are damaged by droughts and pests and are in need of afforestation. The afforestation for 1 ha is very expensive: 10.000€-12.000€ for  1 ha of mixed forest. Particularly expensive are the fences around the young jung trees to protect them from animals. Germany pursues the goal to plant 100.000.000 trees in the next 5 years. That corresponds to about half of the damaged trees. The problem is that we not only have to plant new trees. We also have to reforest old forests. 

But there are some possibilities to support the afforestation in German forests. You can take over a forest partnership. A person with a forest partnership can decide how the forest should look and can help plant new trees. Another possibility is to buy a forest share. For 10€, you can support the reforestation of 1 m2 sustainable mixed forest. 

The picture above the text shows a certificate of a “forest share” we bought two years ago.



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