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Initial forecast puts damaged wood 40 % below 2020

05.03.2021 − 

If weather conditions are favourable from the point of view of forest protection, the volume of damaged wood in Germany is expected to amount to 39.6m m³ in 2021, comprising 35.1m m³ of softwood and 4.5m m³ of hardwood. Compared with the recently readjusted figures for 2020, this would equate to a total reduction of 40 % or 26.6m m³ against last year. The volume of damaged softwood would fall by 42 % or 25.4m m³, and hardwood by 21 % or 1.2m m³. The total volume of damaged wood for the four-year period of 2018-2021 would thus amount to 210.2m m³, comprising 191.5m m³ of softwood and 18.7m m³ of hardwood. The areas requiring reforestation due to biotic and abiotic damage is estimated at 75,700 ha for this year. After 138,300 ha last year and roughly 139,000 ha in 2019, this would bring the nationwide total area to approximately 353,000 ha.

These are the findings of the survey for the volumes of damaged wood that arose in 2020 as of 31 January and for the first damaged-wood forecast for 2021 that was performed by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) amongst the individual states. The forecast, however, is based on the optimistic assumption that adequate rainfall will contribute to increasing trees’ resistance to pests this year. On the basis of the damage established in 2020, however, it must be assumed that the intensity of insect infestation from April is going to remain high in large parts of Germany due to an undiminished high initial population of bark beetles.

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