What's new in the German forest?
The Germans like to express their longing for the forest in poems, songs and fairy tales. But their affection is also reflected in other forms.
All the trees in Germany are counted every ten years in what is called the National Forest Inventory. Experts roam the woods between the North Sea and the Alps, between the Eifel and Saxon Switzerland. In the autumn of 2014 the positive result was proclaimed that there is more wood in German forests today than there has been for centuries. A third of the country is covered by woodland. With 11.4 million hectares of forest, Germany is one of the most densely wooded countries in the European Union.
Royal protector of the trees
Germany is a republic, but it does have a Tree Queen. The current regent's given name is Claudia Schulze. She comes from Berlin and wears a wooden hat instead of a crown. She promotes the German forest in general and the Tree of the Year (in 2015 the field maple) in particular.
Ilmenau bears the title of Forest Capital in 2015. This small town on the northern slopes of the Thuringian Forest is not only situated in a wonderful location, it is exemplary in the way it manages its forests according to the standards of the PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes); it also promotes the cause of sustainability.