Creating lasting value in the forest
Forest owners and foresters face many challenges: Climate change, increased environmental protection requirements and at the same time the desire for efficient management. The concept of close-to-nature forest management provides solutions. Here you will find some basics.
Basics in close-to-nature forest management
- Natural forest management requires qualified decisions. This is why the principle applies: more forestry experts instead of more machinery.
- Close-to-nature forest management requires rare maintenance interventions.
- Close-to-nature forest management supports the natural distribution of native, site- appropriate tree species that are more resistant to disturbances such as storms, drought or bark beetle infestation. This reduces the financial risk of the operation.
- Close-to-nature forest management focuses on individual trunk use and quality instead of quantity with regular yields.
- The mixed forest promoted by close-to-nature forest management allows a more flexible response to the demands of the timber market and thus achieves better prices.
Successful for over 20 years: The Lübeck model
This silviculture approach, also known as „integrative process protection“, has been applied since the mid-1990s in the forests of Göttingen, Lübeck and Uelzen, among others communities in Northern Germany. On several thousand hectares of forest the management of the forests was changed in such a way that with a minimum of manpower, energy and capital a preferably good economic, ecological and social „operating result“ is to be achieved (minimum principle of economy). Reference areas in the forest serve as a comparison of how close to nature forestry use is. In addition, three indicators show how sustainable the forest will be in the future – the proportion of deadwood, the proportion of strong, old trees and the extent of valuable timber production.
Benefits of close-to-nature forestry
- Close-to-nature forest management needs rare interventions.
- Close-to-nature forest management supports the natural distribution of native, site-appropriate tree species that are more resistant to disturbances such as storms, drought or insect infestation. This reduces the financial risk of operations.
- The mixed forest promoted by close-to-nature forest management allows more flexibility in responding to the demands of the timber market and thus achieves better prices.
- Close-to-nature forest management relies on individual trunk use and quality instead of quantity.
- Close-to-nature forest management protects the forest soil as extensively as possible. Ideally, trained foresters harvest the forest manually and move it to the back roads with winches or horses.
- In Close-to-nature forestry, less is harvested than grows back, with increased added value through the marketing of high-quality timber. Thus a stable and diverse forest with a high wood supply can develop through high growth.