baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2017 copyright christoph hase

Dzhendema Strict Nature Reserve, Bulgaria

Dzhendema (Djendema) Reserve is a part of Central Balkan National Park. The reserve is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is the largest (42 km 2 ) virgin forest in Bulgaria 1 , though it is barely continuous, consisting of three main areas that are connected by narrow “necks”. It has remained untouched due to its difficult accessibility 2 .

Most of the reserve is covered by almost pure Opens internal link in current window Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest. The forest is not tall, growing on steep and stony south-facing slopes. In particularly dry and hot sites, F. sylvatica is not competitive, which results in a relatively high diversity. Some trees, e.g. Crataegus spp. (hawthorns), are difficult to identify. In the lower part there are also Quercus (oak) forests, e.g. Q. dalechampii .

A few marked trails run through a small portion of the reserve. The most famous sight is the tallest waterfall in Bulgaria, Raiskoto Praskalo.


1 Veen, P. et al. (2010): Virgin forests in Romania and Bulgaria: results of two national inventory projects and their implications for protection. Biodivers Conserv 19 :1805–1819.

2 /02e609d635ef9909091ef1700c7134f7/en/tentativelists/6013/

Official site:

Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Western area of the reserve. Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest.
Central area of the reserve. Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest.
A single Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, dark trunk) has survived severe competition with the dominant Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest due to its favourable position on the bank of a small stream.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Canopy of Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest.
Some tree species of the reserve.