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Station 6: Forestry

General Information

At first sight, the Leinbachtal’s forest appears wild and untamed, but this initial appearance can be deceptive. Completely natural forests have long been a thing of the past in Germany. For centuries, the majority of the country’s forested areas have been used and administered. The Leinbachtal is no exception. However, the question must be asked: what needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with the financial use of such a delicate ecosystem, so that animal and plant-life develops and thrives, and what forms of management are available? Answers to such questions will be found here.

Functionality of the station

At this station two "picture frames" are located, through which you are able to watch two different areas of the forest. One of the perscpecitves offers you a  origin sight of the Leinbachtal forest, while the other one offers a sight of the economic used part of the forest. Can you see the difference?


More informations:

  1. Forestry in Germany
  2. Sustainibility
  3. Silviculture


Forestry in Germany

Germany is at its very essence a “Forestland”, where forest have been, from a very early stage, used, managed and settled by people. Forests have not been completely natural in Germany for a long time now. Most of Germany’s woodlands have been used and managed for centuries. In general, one can say that the sustainably managed forest, with its variety of tree types and forms of usage, constitutes a diverse and dynamic mosaic. This mosaic incorporates the most different of habitats, and has contributed to the preservation of many types of animals and plants.



Long production periods, dependence on the conditions of the site (soil, climate, etc.), disturbances brought on by natural events (e.g. insects, storms, ice and snow), and the outside management of large swathes of land distinguish forestry from other branches of industry. In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Earth and Development, and the “principle of sustainability” that it introduced, recognized the central importance of forestry. The goal is the, “continuous and optimal use of the diverse economic, ecological and social services for both the present and future generations” [Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz 2011, 23]. The concept of sustainability arose in Central Europe, where, since the end of the Middle Ages, there has been an increasing shortage of lumber, and extensive deforestation brought on by unsustainable use. Since the end of the Second World War, the principle of sustainability has been at the heart of optimal and continuous safeguarding of the forest and its functions.  



Silviculture’s main function is to administer the forest in such a way as to ensure that the diverse benefits and functions it offers remain available and stable. The plurality of operational goals that are dependent on the location and ownership of a forest, lead to a diversity of silvicultural processes and forest types. As there are no schematic rules of conducts in silviculture, the rule of locality takes precedence. This means that first and foremost, silviculture must adapt to the local conditions. Thus a series of principles can be drawn up and pursued:

  • preservation and development of structured mixed forests
  • the planting of appropriate tree types that are local to the area
  • natural regeneration where soil and sufficient stock allow
  • the general eschewal of clearcutting
  • preferably multi-staged forest development for full utilization of the soil and air space
  • the intensity of the cultivation should be adapted to the size of the stock
  • timber harvesting that is not damaging to the stock
  • the maintenance of soil fertility


The most dominant system in Germany is the high forest. This involves the cultivation of individual or small groups of trees, depending on the type of tree, in a period between 80 and 200 years. Selection cutting is a special form, where trees of various ages grow next to one another. Regeneration takes place continuously in such a system. Today, there is more of a tendency towards natural forestry and more stocks of mixed forest, with a higher degree of natural regeneration and development drawun out over longer periods of time. Clearcutting is something that is generally avoided today.