The forest provides us with long walks, great experiences and soothing ambiences. It is a piece of landscape that brings food and shelter to a great variety of wildlife among the stands and the rich vegetation. And when it comes to the Black Forest in the southern part of Germany, it is also an important and inspiring place in terms of sustainability.
Majestic Douglas firs and a great diversity of other wood species are growing to great heights alongside the mighty river Donau with its unique ecosystem. This is where some of the world´s finest foresters have been putting their methods up to task for hundreds of years, applying biodiversity in their everyday calculations.
Biodiversity is the way of smart foresting, contributing with both money and jobs for local workers. In Germany, they have been very far ahead in biologically smart foresting for 300 years, aiming to secure the growth and future value of the forest.
Hans Carl von Carlowitz identified a major problem regarding the wood shortage during the early 17th century. Understanding that the contemporary way of deforestation was not a durable option, he came up with the concept of sustainable management. Following in the footsteps of this German pioneer, biodiversity and sustainability is today a global matter.
Sustainable foresting involves a constant strive towards preservation of natural assets and maintenance of the ecological balance. In this way, the forest remains a valuable asset with economic, social and cultural benefits.
One tree at a time
An important element of sustainable forestry is cutting down one tree at a time, thus giving the trees a chance to grow strong and live out their total capacity, before they are felled and ready to serve new purposes.
We are often in the Black Forest in our search for the very best raw wood, and you only have to spend a few hours with the locals before you understand the magnificence of working with the big trees. The Douglas firs are up to 60 meter tall and 1 meter in diameter and call for skilled people who work with precision when it comes to taking down the heavy trees.
How to cut down a tree
This is the simplified version of how to cut down a tree, German style:
- First of all the tree is scouted in the forest. It is very important that the tree holds the right size and height; it has to fit the purpose.
- When the tree is chosen there will be measuring and counting on were and how the tree is going to fall in order to protect the surrounding trees and vegetation as much as possible.
- When everything is calculated, the forester cut a track in the tree to apply an iron wedge.
- The iron wedge notifies the following event.
- It is now time for the chainsaw and the final cut.
- And down it goes, in a controlled fall.
- With the crown of the tree now gone, new light is coming into the forest, bringing life and encouraging new generations of trees to reach for the sky.
After the tree is cut down, a new is planted, and every day the foresters are wandering the forests to check up on the trees of the future and scout for new tasks to be undertaken.
Sustainability is an on going procedure that keeps the forest up to shape and high standards. With 300 years of sustainable thinking, experience and living, the German foresters have set a notable example.