The main association of the German timber industry has warned against leaving forests uncultivated. If the forest is not maintained, “it may be that the trees do not get out of the thicket at all. So it is not enough to plant and let the forest rejuvenate. You also have to thin out and, for example, protect wildlife,” said association president Johannes Schwörer the dpa.

“Recently, various parties have been arguing that the trees should be much older.” In fact, they would then very quickly become susceptible to diseases and less stable.

The basic problem is that the bark beetle and other pests can do much more damage to the forest if you don’t take care of it and ensure that work is done on the forest. “Unfortunately, this is being neglected in the current discussions about the forest.”

BUND argues differently

The environmental organization BUND demands that at least ten percent of the area in public forests be left uncultivated. High demand for wood and pollutants threatened the forests. Biodiversity suffers as a result. Forests that hang free from human intervention would provide important habitats for endangered animals, plants and fungi.

The main association of the German wood industry, on the other hand, argues with regard to the climate that the possibility of permanently binding carbon in the forest only exists if the wood is processed and then used as a product. “Because otherwise the natural cycle is that the tree grows, dies at some point and releases the carbon again,” said President Schwörer. “But if a house stands for 400 or 500 years, like many half-timbered houses, then the carbon remains bound in the wood and house for hundreds of years.”