The word habitat comes from Latin and means "to live in”.
Some people immediately think of the British design department store, and if we continue to spin this image in our heads, we're not far off the mark.
Even in a habitat tree, there are different "furnishing styles" that are aimed precisely at very specific species.
Without caves, rotting places, leafy bark, duff, or decomposed wood, it is not possible to live comfortably.
Except, in the case of creatures that depend on old-growth structures, it's not a matter of choosing a vintage couch, but in general, of preserving biodiversity and in particular, the survival of highly endangered species.
Species range from tree hollow-dwelling birds, bats, ants or beetles to fungi, mosses and lichens.
A habitat tree has hence a high ecological value, but usually looks unaesthetic, due to the required measures to maintain traffic safety which cause a tree to lose its classic image.
Because more and more trees are becoming sick during climate change, and we are taking areas of over 60 hectares from nature every day without providing adequate replacements, something has to be done.
As a qualified forest ecologist and tree I have developed a concept that sensitises citizens for the topic of habitat trees, which should also inspire children for a natural insect hotel.
This is not a new topic, since it was already recognised and implemented by far-sighted forest scientists more than 200 years ago (Link: Presseinformationen - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (uni-goettingen.de))
At that time, there were also large losses of old trees over many decades. A turnaround could only be achieved with the mandatory introduction of concepts for habitat tree protection in public forests starting in the 1990s.
In the field of official nature conservation, leaving habitat trees in public areas has proven to be a professional alternative in recent years.
The replanting of young trees is often a policy, but a freshly planted tree does not perform relevant functions such as cooling effects, shading, carbon sequestration, noise regulation, and balancing effects on the local climate until after 30-40 years.
We can't possibly cut down all municipal trees that become diseased due to climate change, but we can convert many of them into habitat trees with long-term added value.
B.Sc. Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie Universität Göttingen
Sachverständige für Bäume • FLL-zertifizierte Baumkontrolleurin