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Drought and bark beetles: 150 trees have to be felled at Malteser International Hospital

Drought and bark beetles : 150 trees have to be felled at Malteser International Hospital

For safety reasons, 150 trees have to be felled at the Malteser Hospital. These are pines that have been affected by the drought and the bark beetle.

The summer of 2018 also left its mark on the Malteser Hospital forest. The prolonged drought and the bark beetle affected some trees, so they have to be felled now. "Surprisingly, it is only the pine that dies here," says Federal Forester Klaus Oehlmann. He cannot say how long the felling work will take this Wednesday.

According to the expert, this concerns around 150 trees, mainly on Von-Hompesch-Straße, Witterschlicker Allee and directly at the hospital, i.e. near the road. Even the layman's eye will notice that these pines are not doing well. Oehlmann said that the hospital had also asked him several times about the condition of the trees. The felling is purely a traffic safety measure, he told the General-Anzeiger. Dying trees, which stand a little further in the forest and not directly at the pedestrian paths and thus cannot become dangerous if they tip over, would be left standing. The broken trees are particularly interesting for martens, squirrels, woodpeckers and insects such as wood wasps. The wood wasp, for example, lays its eggs under the bark of dying trees.

Since the 30 hectare area belongs to the federal government, the Bonn City Forestry is not responsible for the felling work. The forest is managed by the Federal Institute for Real Estate Matters. "At the time, the forest was purchased as a reserve area for the Federal Office of Defense," explains Oehlmann. It is unlikely that the Hardthöhe will be enlarged in the near future. Today, the forest is a popular local recreation area where, among others, the Duisdorf Sankt Hubertus Waldfreunde have their barbecue area.

The trees that have to be felled are first tied down by the workers with a rope so that they can let them fall down in a controlled manner. After felling, the tree trunks are freed from branches by the forest workers with the help of chainsaws and then pulled out of the forest with a rope tractor. For safety reasons, the parking area in front of the clinic barrier must also be closed for the measure, says Oehlmann. "The wood is then marketed, but does not make much money due to the bark beetle infestation," explains the Federal Forester. With the felling one waited relatively long in consideration of the incubation period of the birds - since in July the incubation period of the animals is past, they can be begun with the measure in the federal forest now.Replacement plantings for the felled pines are not planned, as Klaus Oehlmann reports. Over time, the forest itself would provide for supplies. "From beneath deciduous trees grow back", says Oehlmann on site and shows the young oaks, beeches, maples and chestnuts, some of which have already reached a considerable height. These tree species would also cope very well with the gravelly soil that can be found around the Maltese Hospital.

(Original text: Stefan Knopp, Translation: Mareike Graepel)