How to make our forests stormproof?!

Illyrian Beech Forest Region of Bosnia-Herzegovina

In hindsight of recent weather events, two forestry professors made statements on specific forest management and making our forests stormproof. 

Next to climate change several other threats have been mentioned in the article, such as:

  • new diseases and pests due to global warming
  • invasive species
  • long droughts that exhaust or die the trees
  • a greater risk of forest fires
  • the danger of storms

Making our forests stormproof is not about finding the best solution, because there isn’t one. It should be done in different ways. One of those methods is called “mixing”, which is the sufficient mixing of different species. It is a matter of spreading the risks. “This is often brought forward in international working groups. This is usually a good measure for stability,”, says professor Bart Muys (KULeuven). Even if one supertree would exist, choosing only that one is not the answer. 

According to Kris Verheyen from the Ugent, a supertree is an illusion. “Monoculture is not a good thing.” It comes down to choosing various types with various structures too. This comes down to high versus low, or wider versus narrower.”

It all comes down to trees that remain vital and strong. Choosing the right trees in the right place, because every soil is different. Creating more space for trees to develop, they will become wider and the centre of gravity will be lower. 

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Want to read the full dutch article? Click this link: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/02/17/hoe-kunnen-we-onze-bossen-stormproof-maken/

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