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Felling in Germany driven to record level of 80.4m m³

05.05.2021 − 

The total volume of wood felled in Germany in 2020 was 80.420m m³, which equates to an increase of 17.9 % to a new record level. This even surpasses the previous peak of 76.730m m³ from the Kyrill year of 2007 by 4.8 %. At 70.211m m³, 87.3 % of the total felled volume was accounted for by softwood, and the remaining 10.209m m³ or 12.7 % by hardwood. According to the figures published by Destatis, the federal statistics office, the key factor behind the increase was a 30 % higher volume of damaged wood than in 2019 at 60.127m m³, which equates to a share of 74.8 % of the total felled volume. 53.449m m³ of the damaged wood was accounted for by the “spruce, fir, Douglas fir, and other softwoods” group of wood species alone. As such, this group of wood species alone accounted for 88.9 % of the total volume of damaged wood.

In terms of causes of damaged wood, the main culprit, as in 2019, was “insects”. Here, the recorded figure amounted to 43.295m m³, roughly 36.6 % more than a year earlier. “Wind/storm” follows at second place with 10.164m m³. This was caused by the three hurricane-strength lows “Petra”, “Sabine”, and “Victoria”, that had swept across large parts of Europe from the beginning to the middle of February 2020 and thereby left the greatest incidence of uprooted and fractured trees in Germany and parts of the Czech Republic in its wake. The so-called “other causes” took a sharp leap from 2.240m m³ to 3.264m m³. In the statistics for 2020, however, changes were made in the classification of the causes of damage. Here, “drought”, accounting for 3.139m m³, was listed separately in the statistics as a cause for the first time. The “new types of forest damage” category was no longer presented separately and has included under the new heading of “Other causes of damaged-wood felling”.

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