Tree of the month
The oak is one of the most important tree species being found in nearly every continent.
Powerful and solid – the oak has existed for at least ten million years. With around 600 different species it has adapted to numerous diverse living conditions and can be found all over the world.
As climate change creates new challenges for our forests, such as longer periods of drought or the increasing occurrence of storms, the oak plays an important role in future generations of forests.
It has a high drought stress tolerance – not least due to clever adaptation mechanisms. Its deep taproots make it storm resistant and it can temporarily endure backwater and floods.
The oak also has great significance in terms of biodiversity – it creates habitats for numerous other species such as small mammals, birds, insects and other invertebrates such as mushrooms and mosses.
The wild service tree
The wild service tree is one of the largely unknown tree species in Germany and is rarely found in forests. Its distribution extends from the Caucasus, Turkey and the Balkans to Central Europe with focus in France. After the last ice age the wild service tree came back to our regions from France about 10,000 years ago.
The fruits of the wild service tree, also called “checkers”, are a favorite food of birds who eat them in the crown, so that hardly any fruits fall off. Growing up to 25 meters tall it stands out due to the early and bright scarlet color of its leaves in autumn. The slowly growing wood is used for making high-quality furniture and musical instruments.
The wild service tree loves dry and warm locations. With its widely branched root system, it is firmly anchored in the ground making it stable against storms. Pest infestation has a minor significance in the entire distribution area.
As it copes well with higher temperatures and is able to withstand longer periods of drought, the service tree can play an important role in times of climate change.