Death of a Forest Culture in Germany

Since 2017, heavy storms, droughts, and bugs have felled many trees. This is happening in the land of the poets, thinkers … and forest lovers.

While taking my own forest walks, I can see dead trees still standing as well as lying by the roadside, marked with numbers. We can also see cleared forest aisles from a 9th floor apartment located at the foot of the Taunus Mountains. In American English, this could also be called a swath of destruction – an attack on nature or a natural development..? This determination I will leave to the scientists.

On any walk, there is always some momentary despair in the air, but in the next moment, we manage yet to marvel at the green canopy of leaves which is still above us on our walks in the nearby forest.

The most recent killer creature has been the Borkenkäfer (bark beetle), which likes to feed on mostly conifer trees.

Germany’s forest is a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer trees, with the spruce making up 25% of Germany’s forest.

Thanks for these photos and permission to publish go to my friend, Udo Esser, who took them on one his runs around the forests and hills.

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Stormy winds and droughts kill trees. This photo is what a tree looks like after bark beetles have devoured it. Not much left, is there…

bark beetles at work

This might be a slightly better time for Wanderer (hikers), who now have a much better view all the way around, including onto Frankfurt and its skyline (some smog included).

Frankfurt Skyline

This is a Wasserschutzgebiet (water protection area). There is no water to protect, so the sign has become less important. At present, and under its current conditions, it must be difficult to keep Ordnung in the German forests.

Wasserschutzgebiet im Taunus

This is what you are likely to encounter when exploring the hiking trails around here. The lack of precipitation in recent months has added more misery.

September 2020
German forests facing storms, droughts, and bark beetles.

This tree had been taken down by a storm. Forest workers gave it a clean and final cut before it could do further damage.

We’ve had our share of storms and destroyed trees in our own private garden in the Taunus Mountains as well. There have been three major storms involving our garden, which took down close to 20 trees (some where over a hundred years old). One of these storms cost us €2.500 to have seven kneeled over trees taken down. The other trees, belonging to neighbors, had fallen into our garden.

This is a socalled Luthereiche, an oak tree planted in remembrance of Martin Luther.

It has lost all its leaves due to the recurring droughts.

I love trees, and if you ever saw my balcony, you could see it for yourself. I have many trees, most are volunteers left by the wind or the birds as carriers.

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. – Martin Luther

Restaurant at the Old Market Square in Oberursel

This historical postcard dates back to 1898, when the corner building at the Marktplatz (market square) used to be ‘Droeser’s Felsenkeller’, a restaurant with garden service.

On 12 October 1895, Mr. Adam J. H. Droeser opened the Felsenkeller (rock wall cellar) Restaurant.

The address was am Marktplatz 1, which houses the Vordertaunusmuseum (Anterior Taunus Museum) today.

Below is a photo of the same location, taken on 30 January 2019.

Altkönig Statue at Camp King Oberursel

In August of this year, one of the members of the B-17 delegation asked me about the significance of this statue, Altkönig (Lit: old king).  All I could tell her was the inscription left by the artist, Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein, who donated her piece of art to the city of Oberursel in 1998, and then found its permanent spot in Camp King in 2004.

Now, who is the ‘Altkönig’? In its original form, the Altkönig is the third highest mountain of the Taunus range in Hesse, Germany, reaching 798 metres above sea level. Around 400 BC, the Celts settled on the Altkönig Mountain, built the Heidetrank Oppidum, as well as several ring walls around the summit, which are still present.

This is the only information I could find in regards to the statue’s namesake.

The statue is part of a little rest area adjacent to the former Officers’ Club (Mountain Lodge).

Der Altkönig

Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein – 1975  Ms. Inga Dilcher-Hassenstein ( Name of the artist and date presented)

Geschenk an die Stadt Oberursel -1998  (Presented to the city of Oberursel in 1998)

St. Ursula Church Tower Museum in Oberursel

The St. Ursula Church tower museum presents a collection of sacral Art, spanning over 500 years of parish history.

In addition, the museum visitor gets to enjoy a splendid view not only across the Altstadt, but the whole town, and all the way to the Taunus (to the west), Odenwald (to the south), Spessart (to the east), and Vogelsberg (to the north).

Museum visiting hours:

From May – September: every first Saturday 15:00 – 17:00

Entrance fee: 1,50 € for adults, 1,00 € for children.

For arranging a tour on Mondays or Fridays, please send an inquiry to Mr.Abt.

Address: St. Ursula-Gasse in 61440 Oberursel (Taunus)
You can contact Mr. Wilfried Abt for more information
Telephone: (0 61 71) 55 05 0
e-mail: henrich@table-individuelle.de
http://www.kath-oberursel.de

Oberursel near the Taunus Feldberg Mountain

German word of the Day: die Umleitung

If you come to live in Oberursel, you’ll find yourself right in the middle between Frankfurt City (35 minutes by train) and the Feldberg Mountain (20 minutes by car).

Two days ago, the mountain had its first heavy snowfall and due to Eisbruch (ice disintegration) and tree branches falling off,  an Umleitung (detour) sign had to be put up.

Umleitung Feldberg

Feldberg Ast Dez 2014

This is what I call Winter Wonderland.

Feldberg Schnee Dez 2014

These photos were taken by @Bernd Lokki Peppler, published with his friendly permission.

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