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Timber use at a high level The forest resources – timber stock at record high

Timber use at a high level

Between 2002 and 2012, an average of 76 million cubic metres of raw wood (timber under bark) were utilized per year in Germany.

Increment and use
Increment and use. Source: BMEL

The private forest owners in particular were able to increase their timber harvest and utilized the forest on average at the same intensity as the state forestry holdings in the state forests. In the state forests, the timber harvest remains unchanged at 98% of the increment.

In particular the small private forests up to 20 hectares in size, or half of the private forest area of Germany, are used less intensively than the other size classes. The other private forests are more intensively utilized than the state forests.

The timber harvest was influenced by various events during the inventory period. In January 2007, the windstorm Kyrill downed 37 million cubic metres – almost half of an annual cut (Response by the Federal government to a minor interpellation, 9 July 2007, Printed Paper 16/6030).

Coppice shoot forests, at one time widespread, play an only minimal role in forests today. Photo: Klaus M. Weber

The financial and economic crises in 2008 and 2009 caused significant international markets to break away and timber demand declined perceptibly, in particular in the construction sector. At the same time, the use of timber for energy production experienced a renaissance. Until the year 2012 the timber prices rose continuously and the energy timber market remained at a high level. Increasing timber use and thereby increasing the use of the renewable resource of timber and saving fossil resources corresponds to the target objective of the “Charta für Holz” (Charter for Wood) in Germany initiated in 2004 by the Federal government.