Reforestation project in the Barnim Nature Park

In 2022, ekomia is supporting the Hoffnungstaler Stiftung Lobetal in Bernau near Berlin in the climate-stable reforestation of an area of forest that has been severely damaged by bark beetle infestation.

The challenge of climate change for the German forest.

For some years now, many German forests have been suffering from high temperatures and drought caused by global climate change. This favours the spread of the bark beetle, which particularly affects pure spruce forests / spruce monocultures. The consequences can be observed in the form of large-scale bare areas in German forests.

The Hoffnungstaler Stiftung Lobetal also had to experience this on one of its forest plots in the Barnim Nature Park. Following the drought years 2019/2020 and bark beetle infestation in 2021, spruce trees had to be removed from a damaged area of 4000m2. On half of the area, young trees have already been able to establish themselves under the spruces. But if no trees are planted on the remaining area, blackberries and grasses will spread so much that there will be no forest there for many years. Therefore, it is important to start reforestation quickly.

Damaged forest area in the Barnim Nature Park
Damaged forest area in the Barnim Nature Park (52°43'41.5"N 13°34'59.5"E)

From monoculture to climate-stable mixed forest

The forest manager Alfred Hesse oversees the reforestation: "Reforestation with a mixture of climate-stable tree species makes a lot of sense here". The aim of the afforestation is to establish several tree species suitable for the site. In addition to the indigenous wych elm, which has become very rare but is considered to have good chances in the climate change, nut trees and sweet chestnuts are planted in the soil. Larches are also being planted and will one day serve as timber. They achieve excellent quality when mixed with lime trees. In addition to valuable woods, this also creates habitats for bees, insects and all animal species that like to eat them, such as bats.

 

Together with the hornbeams and black locust trees that are present in the natural regeneration, a forest with more than eight tree species is to be created. If some of them should die due to climate change and its consequences, the forest will retain its character - it is more resilient to many disturbances.

In total, ekomia is financing the purchase and planting of 500 trees for the project.

Planting plan of the afforestation with wych elm, black walnut, lime, larch, walnut and sweet chestnut
Planting plan of the afforestation with wych elm, black walnut, lime, larch, walnut and sweet chestnut