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What is it about? Trees and shrubs

With an area of 31%, the forest is the most important area, a close to nature habitat and at the same part of the natural landscape. Therefore, forests represent an essential resource for biological diversity.

Trees and shrubs in Germany

Deciduous forest (Source: BLE)

The forests in Germany cover approximately 11.1 million hectares. This corresponds to almost 31% of the area of Germany. Forests - often on the same area - have to meet a variety of requirements from different areas of our society. This is the guiding principle of multifunctional forest management, which combines the sustainable safeguarding of the use, protective and recreational functions of the forest.

By far the largest part of the forest is used for forestry purposes. The basis for this are the naturally occurring species of trees and shrubs in Germany, most of which are native tree and shrub species. Only in exceptional cases species have been introduced as neophytes and are considered to be part of the native flora by now.

In contrast to agriculture, only naturally occurring species are used in forestry. Forest trees and shrubs are usually wild plants and not cultivated plants.

Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for evolution and the basis for species' adaptability and thus for their survival. It is the basis for a wide range of reactions to biotic and abiotic influences. This is particularly important due to the longevity of the trees, as trees cannot avoid unfavourable influences due to their location.

"Forest genetic resources" are genetic material (populations, individuals, plant parts, seeds, fruits) of tree and shrub species with actual or potential value for sustainable multifunctional forestry.

A large genetic diversity ensures that the needs of future generations can be met in the face of changing demands on the performance of forests, in particular on the production of wood as a raw material, even under possibly changed environmental conditions.


+49 0228 6845-3385

Dr. Michaela Haverkamp

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
53179 Bonn