Tree planting in Germany

11,000 trees planted in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Tree planting is an integral part of our guideline “Preserving existing forests, creating new forests“. Just €5 enables us to protect one square meter of primary rainforest, as well as to plant a tree in Germany (native tree species) and thus restore the damaged spruce forests (coordinates: 53.584696, 13.795178) and reforest commercially used fields. Your contribution thus combines local and global commitment.

In cooperation with the Landesforst MV and the FC. Hansa Rostock and Marteria, we were able to plant 6,000 English oaks on a previously intensively used field in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern this spring. A big thank you goes to all the energetic supporters who made this planting possible in just one day. Hopefully the climate and the water voles will play along so that you can soon no longer see the wood for the trees here on the western edge of the Kellerwald forest near Bad Doberan.

Mother Nature needs time and space to heal. In this joint project with the MV State Forestry Department, the space is provided by a field that has been used intensively and, above all, conventionally up to now. And because we humans have long since run out of time to change our behavior and correct our mistakes, we are once again taking the liberty of taking a leaf out of nature’s book. This time, together with the professional team and the U23 team of FC Hansa Rostock, we cleared the small sessile oaks and birch trees that were planted in spring 2023 of “competing growth”. This measure reduces the failure rate and promotes faster growth.

And then there was the somewhat different team photo. Not on a green lawn, but in a green forest. This photo once again reflects the commitment of our local association to give something back to the planet. Thanks to all the hard-working hands and people who appreciate what we do out there. And of course to the DockInn for the delicious refreshments!”

Another project took us to Western Pomerania (Strasburg, Uckermark). In cooperation with our partner, Agrargesellschaft Neuensund, we have been able to plant 5000 copper beeches to date. Our planting periods are limited each year to spring and fall, when nature ensures a sufficient water supply to promote optimal growth of the young trees. During one of these regular campaigns, we received media coverage from NDR. Take a look at the short report in the Nordmagazin.

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The strong storms in spring caused a number of trees to break here. Unfortunately, most of these are perfectly healthy trees that resist the storms with their large crowns, but are ultimately uprooted. Added to this is the climate crisis caused by human activity. This causes an exorbitant increase in the bark beetle, which prefers to attack fast-growing softwoods such as spruce. Due to the continuing lack of water, the plant is no longer able to protect itself against the beetle infestation and gradually dies. In view of the dramatic situation, bark beetle traps, which have already been installed in countless forests, are only a cosmetic intervention. If the two phenomena of storms and bark beetle infestation correlate, large clearings are created in the middle of the forest, which only recover very slowly without external help.

We planted the young copper beeches in this classic spruce forest section, which would take decades to naturally regenerate and transform into a healthy mixed forest. In order to speed up this process and meet the changing climatic conditions, we have given Mother Nature a helping hand. There is no time to lose and certainly no time to repeat past mistakes. Scientists and foresters agree – the forest of tomorrow must be a mixed forest! Beech has a special place in this structure. It is ideally suited to the prevailing conditions. Adaptable, manages with less water, binds much more CO2 than spruce as a slow-growing hardwood and is largely resistant to the bark beetle. In order to guarantee that the young trees would grow, we planted them at the beginning of March. The moist soil provides the best conditions for the roots to grow. To further accelerate the growth of the trees, they were planted 1.5 meters apart. The young trees compete with each other and vie for the best spot in the direction of the sunlight. This in turn accelerates the regeneration of the forest and the closing of the canopy in a natural way.

The campaign can of course be seen as a very small drop in the ocean. But we proved to ourselves that there are also ways to help the forest in Germany and to continue working there with our friend Max from and the agricultural company Neuensund. The classic spruce forest has had its day and is just waiting for us all to help it grow back into a healthy mixed forest.

“Preserve existing forests, create new forests.”

Our thanks go to forest owner Max Bieber and his grandfather Ottomar Wahl. If you would like to find out more about Max and our long-standing friendship, take a look at the Challenge.