Forest regeneration

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1. Natural succession

The Grünewald for­est is able to regen­er­ate itself, in the way that the sur­faces defor­est­ed by bee­tles or wind throw are no nat­ur­al dis­as­ter but a basis to start a new nat­ur­al devel­op­ment. If the soil is not chem­i­cal­ly treat­ed and if you allow full bent to nature, per­fect­ly adapt­ed veg­e­ta­tion can grow and spread, faster and stronger than all com­pet­i­tive plants all by engen­der­ing a healthy habi­tat.

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Suc­ces­sion sur­face with birch­es and nat­ur­al regen­er­a­tion of beech­es

On the nude sur­faces first gram­i­nae, herbs and brack­en grows. Lat­er on pio­neer bush­es like for exam­ple gorse, black­ber­ry or buck­thorn begin to cov­er the ground, fol­lowed by pio­neer trees like birch, aspen, rowan berry and dif­fer­ent kinds of wil­low.

A pri­ma­ry for­est is always formed by these species and can be man­aged accord­ing to forestry cri­te­ria. Such a pri­ma­ry for­est has a pos­i­tive influ­ence on the improve­ment of the soil and the micro­cli­mate for a lat­er beech grove. It is only at the final sta­tus of this devel­op­ment that the final for­est type best adapt­ed to this sit­u­a­tion is installed, most often a com­bi­na­tion of beech­es with oaks and horn­beams.

2. Planting

Even if the nat­ur­al regen­er­a­tion plays a very impor­tant role in the regen­er­a­tion process of the Grünewald, it can be pos­si­ble that some new sur­faces are arti­fi­cial­ly plant­ed, name­ly after agri­cul­tur­al defor­esta­tion, ice and snow dam­age or fire dam­age. But it can also be nec­es­sary after a pre­vi­ous wrong­ly adapt­ed or insuf­fi­cient tree com­bi­na­tion.

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Refor­esta­tion with beech­es

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Refor­esta­tion with oaks

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Plant­i­ng of a moun­tain ash

The plants that are set man­u­al­ly or mechan­i­cal­ly come all from sim­i­lar geo­graph­i­cal sit­u­a­tions and cli­mates, cor­re­spond­ing to the new habi­tat.

The cri­te­ria of the deci­sions tak­en in this process are based upon the data giv­en by the Nation­al Admin­is­tra­tion of Waters and Forests and in respect of the even­tu­al future forestry man­age­ment.

3. The natural regeneration

The near-nat­ur­al forestry man­age­ment in the Grünewald is tak­ing a max­i­mum advan­tage of the nat­ur­al evo­lu­tion in the for­est. The wood is regen­er­at­ing itself nat­u­ral­ly all by engen­der­ing the new seedlings. Prof­it is being tak­en out of those nat­u­ral­ly born seedlings (for exam­ple beech-nuts), grow­ing under the pro­tec­tion of the high stemmed trees, in order to gen­er­ate a new-born for­est.

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Nat­ur­al regen­er­a­tion of a beech grove

This nat­ur­al kind of for­est regen­er­a­tion is the most used one in the Grünewald. It is devel­op­ing all by itself if all the nec­es­sary con­di­tions (light, soil) are pre­served and if the game occur­rence is kept rather low.

The nat­ur­al for­est regen­er­a­tion is not only the best way to sur­vive for a for­est but offers also good eco­nom­i­cal advan­tages:

  • undis­turbed grow­ing up from the begin­ning with no root reduc­ing (no plant­i­ng shock)
  • less game dam­age than in arti­fi­cial­ly plant­ed areas
  • less hail and dry­ness dam­age than on open spaces, because of the pro­tec­tion by the old trees
  • no extra costs for plants and plant­i­ngs
  • con­ti­nu­ity of the micro­cli­mate and its water resources
  • Con­ser­va­tion of the genet­ic resources, adapt­ed to the habi­tat

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