The Oak- and European Hornbeam forest


06_NA_EH (7)Oak- and Euro­pean Horn­beam woods can be found on very dif­fer­ent soils. How­ev­er they grow more eas­i­ly on the heavy and fer­tile soil of the Ösling val­leys or the heavy clay soils of the late Tri­as­sic land­scapes of the Gutland.

With its mul­ti lay­er struc­ture and the rich under­brush the “Grousse­bësch”, a typ­i­cal oak- and Euro­pean Horn­beam wood, belongs to one of the rich­est in species for­est besides the ripar­i­an zone and swamp woods.

Upper layer

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Beech Pen­dun­cu­late Oak Ash tree

In the upper lay­er there are most­ly high trunk oaks, which are not spend­ing too much shad­ow and deliv­er­ing a high qual­i­ty tim­ber. There are also some beech­es and ash trees mixed with the oaks. In the “Grousse­bësch” how­ev­er the pro­por­tion of beech­es is obvi­ous­ly higher.

Middle layer

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Euro­pean Hornbeam

In the mid­dle lay­er you can find the species spend­ing more shad­ow, with a high cop­pic­ing capac­i­ty, like the Euro­pean Horn­beam and the lime tree. Hazel­nut, hawthorn, buck­thorn and Euro­pean spin­dle are form­ing, togeth­er with oth­er shrubs the underbrush.

Shrub layer

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Hawthorn Buck­thorn Hazel­nut Euro­pean spindle

Herb layer

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Wood anemone Yel­low Archangel Less­er celandine Wald­veilchen

In the ear­ly spring, when the oaks have not yet opened their leaf, the wood anemone, vio­lets, less­er celandine and oth­er her­by weeds trans­form the wood ground into a beau­ti­ful car­pet of spring flow­er­ing plants.

Dur­ing cen­turies the farm­ers did fat­ten their cat­tle on the wood pas­tures of the oak- and Euro­pean Horn­beam forests. Today only remains of this form of for­est still exist, because peo­ple did clear ever more the woods in order to use the ground for agriculture.

The habitat : Oak- and European Hornbeam wood

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Sala­man­der Stag bee­tle Long­horn beetle Pur­ple Hairstreak

This habi­tat has a spe­cial impor­tance for nature pro­tec­tion. Because it is offer­ing dif­fer­ent light con­di­tions and because of its mul­ti-lay­er struc­ture, many species from fau­na and flo­ra are able to devel­op and live in these small micro cli­mates this kind of wood­land is offering.

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Eurasian Nuthatch Short-toed Treecreep­er Less­er Spot­ted Woodpecker Eurasian Spar­rowhawk