baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2017 copyright christoph hase

Boky National Nature Reserve, Slovakia

The reserve (1.8 km 2 ) lies on a south to southwest facing steep dry slope at 280–590 m elevation 1 .

The dominants in the upper canopy are Opens internal link in current window Quercus petraea (sessile oak) and Opens internal link in current window Quercus cerris (Turkey oak). Many small tree species grow under them; the most abundant ones include Opens internal link in current window Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam), Opens internal link in current window Acer campestre (field maple), Opens internal link in current window Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) and Crataegus spp. (hawthorns). Forest is low on steep slopes but in the side valleys Quercus spp. become fairly large and less drought-resistant species also occur, e.g. Opens internal link in current window Fagus sylvatica (European beech) and Opens internal link in current window Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple). As the reserve is mostly too dry for F. sylvatica , tree species diversity is relatively high in the Central European context; some of the species (like Crataegus spp.) are not easy to tell apart.

This is an important reserve as very little almost untouched dry Quercus forest still remains in Europe. Some parts of the reserve have probably been used for grazing in the past, but for a long period there has been no human influence 2 . The oldest Quercus spp. are more than 300 years old 2 . Annual precipitation is 720 mm and average annual temperature about 7.5°C 1 .

A marked hiking trail leads through the reserve. In the valley below the reserve there is a highway which means much noise in the lower reserve.

References :

1 Korpel’, Š. (1995): Die Urwälder der Westkarpaten. Gustav Fischer Verlag.


Quercus cerris (Turkey oak, coarsely furrowed bark), Quercus petraea (sessile oak, less coarsely furrowed bark background), Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam, striped smooth bark).
Quercus cerris (Turkey oak) - Quercus petraea (sessile oak) forest on steep slope. Q. cerris with more coarsely furrowed bark.
Low Quercus cerris (Turkey oak) forest on dry steep slope.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) stand in side valley. Also Tilia cordata (small-leaved linden, left with sprouts) and Quercus petraea (sessile oak, big tree centre background).
Forest in side valley. Acer campestre (field maple, foreground), Quercus cerris (Turkey oak, right), Quercus petraea (sessile oak, centre and behind Q. cerris ). The small trees are mostly Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam) and Fagus sylvatica (European beech).
Bark of large Quercus cerris (Turkey oak).
Forest canopy. On the right Quercus cerris (Turkey oak) foliage.
Part of the reserve from below.
Some tree species of the reserve.