baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2014copyright christoph hase

Hainich National Park, Germany


This is not actually primeval forest but the size of the park (75 km2) and its relatively natural state make it important in the Central European context. Before German reunification it was a military area, which protected it from forestry1. Some areas (elev. 300–450 m) of the park have many characteristics of old-growth forest, like snags and fallen trees. On average, the forest is not particularly old but there are large old trees scattered throughout the park. Old cut stumps can be seen in places. The forest here grows on fertile lime rich soil, of the richest Central European Opens internal link in current windowFagus sylvatica (European beech) forest community.1 Nevertheless, tree species diversity is relatively low and most of them are easy to identify. The most common tree species after F. sylvatica are Opens internal link in current windowCarpinus betulus (European hornbeam), Opens internal link in current windowFraxinus excelsior (European ash) and Opens internal link in current windowAcer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple). Average annual precipitation is 750 mm 1. In 2011, a part of the park was added to the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany World Heritage Site. 

If you are seeking silence and nature sounds, note that there is quite a lot of aircraft noise, the planes leaving Frankfurt for East Asia2 taking off over the park.





1        Sperber, G. & Thierfelder, S. (2005): Urwälder Deutschlands. BLV Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.




Official site:

Fraxinus excelsior (European ash, big trees, left and right), Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam, 2 striped trees, centre), Fagus sylvatica (European beech, other trees).
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest. Also Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam), striped tree, left.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest. Also Fraxinus excelsior (European ash, with furrowed bark).
Two Fraxinus excelsior (European ash), foreground. Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple), right. Other trees: Fagus sylvatica (European beech).
Quercus robur (pedunculate oak) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Acer platanoides (Norway maple).
Acer campestre (field maple) at a dry natural pond; also Torminalis clusii (syn. Sorbus torminalis, wild service tree), small tree, right, and Fraxinus excelsior (European ash), large trees, background.
Ulmus glabra (wych elm) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved linden) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest.
Some tree species of the park.