The adaptable douglas fir is becoming more and more interesting for the frankenwald as well

In view of climate change and this year’s immense bark beetle damage to spruce, many forest owners are looking for trees that can survive much better than spruce in the frankenwald of the future. Firs and beech trees have already been planted in preference to other trees. For some time the douglas fir becomes more and more interesting. It can adapt much better to the changing climate and grows much faster than other trees. Some sites in the kronach district are ready with old-growth douglas firs.

Almost 60 forest owners accepted the invitation of the forest owners association kronach-rothenkirchen and the bavarian forest administration to visit the private and community forests around zeyern. The event was led by the WBV’s managing director wolfgang schirmer, forester armin hanke and forestry student eva engelhardt, who were overwhelmed by the rough response.

Very good natural rejuvenation

Student eva engelhardt gave a presentation on the origin, requirements and use of douglas fir. Many were surprised to learn that although this species originated in america, it was native to our region before the ice age, as pollen analyses from bogs showed.

Afterwards, district forester armin hanke gave a clear demonstration of what to look out for when planting and purchasing douglas fir plants. He particularly emphasized the danger of root desiccation after delivery.

Private forest owner felsecker was able to show how well the douglas fir naturally blends in the frankenwald. From just four old-growth douglas firs, he has thousands of descendants in his forest. He had done nothing, but had brought some light into the forest by cutting down some trees on the flat. He has now harvested three of the old douglas firs and used them for boarding up his barn, because the wood of the douglas fir is very weather resistant.

In the community forest there was then a practical demonstration. Wolfgang schirmer demonstrated how to proceed with thinning and branching, and which trees should be selected for this purpose. With a "japansage, with a hand shot and a telescopic pole shot, he lifted a tree to a height of 5.50 meters.

Successful reforestation

"It is important that no branch stubs are left behind and that the branch is cut off at the bark level with a clean cut", he explained. "The branching is very important for the increase in value. Thus, the prices for normal wood and value wood differ after all by up to 200 euros per solid cubic meter. The branching work was to start at ‘mabkrugstarke’."

Finally, armin hanke showed a successful reforestation area in the community forest that was planted with claim funds. In 2015, an old damaged area (storm and bark oats) was planted with fir and douglas fir, which has developed very well within three years and even after this year’s dry year has hardly fallen out.

"For some time now, such a mixed population has been required", emphasized forster armin hanke. "For example, a subsidy of about two euros was paid per plant and individual shelter, which is roughly half the cost of materials."

Wolfgang schirmer was pleased that so many people were interested in the topic of "forest conversion in times of climate change", a piece far away from the spruce, occupy. "A good alternative with the douglasie was clearly shown today", his conclusion was.Friedwald schedel

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