in the Middle of the forest, a clearing. Where two weeks ago, near the crest of a hill, nor spruce trees grew, is now not a single tree more. To see only what is left over when trees are cut down: stumps tree is in an area the size of several football fields.

Jan Schiefenhövel

a Freelance writer based in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

F. A. Z.

tufts of spruce branches with green needles and drought, the Branches are covering criss-cross the ground between them. In the forest of the municipality of Gründau of the Harvester, a harvesting machine for wood has done in the past two weeks, all the work. In this time, only at this one location near the middle were like-Gründau about 2000 trees. This is half as much as usual in the year in the whole municipality of forest with a size of 580 acres, such as Luke Rippl explains that the relevant area Director of the local forest office. Wolfgang, which manages the forest for the municipality.

forest people alarmed

The forest people, the sight of the cleared areas hurts as well as the walkers. The forestry Department and the municipality have not chosen voluntarily to the clearing. Rather, the trees Not been removed because they were dead. To blame for the death of the spruce bark beetle, which had multiplied in the warm and dry summer, a mass. The drought weakened so the spruce, that you were not able to fend off the beetles, such as Christian Schaefer says the head of the local forest office. Wolfgang. Is a spruce “vital”, it is resin, it protects against bugs. A beetle penetrated the bark, comes in resin and the insect gets stuck.

However, last summer was missing the trees, the water. They dried up so much that they formed no resin. So the bark beetles were able to easily get under the bark and lay eggs. The insect multiplies quickly, as Schaefer says. A female lays under the bark of a Tree 50 to 60 eggs. In the long summer of 2018 were able to reproduce the pests so much that they spread out in three generations.

the trees were Felled, but the wood still sell, as Rippl says. But it’s worth it currently. Everywhere in Germany the spruce is damaged by the drought, and from that Need, the spoils of the prices. The local sawmills are busy, and to take no more wood. Instead, the spruce wood from Gründau is Packed in containers and shipped to China.

bark beetle is spreading quickly

the bark beetles could spread quickly, and in mass, is due to the fact that the spruce trees at this point were in mono-culture, such as Schaefer and Rippl say. The trees there were from the sixties. And at the time was planted, which brings the forest owner money, and the fast-growing spruce can sell well, because they are in demand as timber for example, for roof trusses.