How many trees are too many

Inventory in the forest How many trees does Germany have?

They have a lot of technical helpers on duty, such as electronic tree height and distance meters, diameter tape measures, satellite navigation devices and field computers. And the auditors are also checked. There are control recordings at five percent of the sample points to confirm the data quality.

New: genetic diversity of trees is determined

The data that is regularly received on the servers of the Thünen Institute should ultimately answer all the important questions about the forest: How much forest is there? Who does it belong to? How big are the wood stocks? How much carbon does the forest store? How much wood is used? How much has grown back? How rich in structure and how close to nature are our forests? And for the first time, the genetic diversity of trees is being examined in this national forest inventory.

After the dry summers of recent years, the numbers are eagerly awaited, not just by scientists. Because they can provide information on the extent of the damage and the consequences of drought and bark beetles. "We can assume that we will see an influence there," said the head of the Forest Research and Competence Center in Gotha, Corinna Geissler. Above all the bare areas, i.e. bare forest areas, could have increased, according to Geissler. However, the full evaluation will still take a while. The researchers at the Thünen Institute expect results in 2024.

The forest in Germany consists of 56 percent coniferous forest, 44 percent are deciduous forest. Pine and spruce make up 49 percent of the tree population. This is followed by beech (16%) and oak (10%). With a 34 percent share of the area, Thuringia is the most densely wooded country in Central Germany and is thus slightly above the national average (32%). Saxony has 29 percent, Saxony-Anhalt 26 percent.