Anyone visiting the coburg courtyard garden these days will come across felled trees in many places. This is particularly evident in the area between the two pavilions and the natural history museum.
There are piles of rough logs that have already been cut into portions. Besides, there are coarse heaps of branches and twigs, already neatly arranged.
But what is behind the action, which at first glance almost makes you think of a clear cut in some places?? If you look closely at the fallen logs, you can see many damaged areas. A total of around 40 trees have to be felled for security reasons, as bernhard ledermann, head of the responsible land office, had explained as a precautionary measure in the run-up to the felling operation. The action is due to the consequences of the last five summers.
"The summers of the last five years have hit us with force" ledermann explained. Only the year 2017 was an exception. But the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and especially 2018 were extremely dry, it says. An average of around 600 millimeters of rain has fallen in the process. The normal amount, however, is 700 to 750 millimeters. In 2015 there were only 480 millimeters and in 2018 only 400 millimeters.
The consequences of this low impact are serious for the coburg courtyard garden, which stretches from the veste to the city. A number of trees have suffered greatly because their roots do not reach the groundwater.
According to the findings of the grunflachenamt, the drought also affected tree species that were not expected to suffer: beech and norway maple.
For bernhard ledermann, the consequences are clear: because dried-out trees can fall and branches can break off, affected trees must be felled. Finally, pedestrians in the courtyard garden could be hit as well as vehicles on the fortress road, which runs directly along the courtyard garden.
Chestnuts for the future?
The felled trees are processed into firewood or chipped, depending on their suitability. The trees are being replaced by new plantings where they used to grow as individual stands. Where there is sufficient young growth, planting is deliberately avoided – after all, the courtyard garden has around 1,200 individual trees. They make up about half of the city's tree population, which the city's land office has to take care of.
In view of the changing climatic conditions, concrete considerations are already being made as to which trees would be suitable for coburg in the future. One candidate is the chestnut tree, which is native to the mediterranean and can cope well with intense warmth and water. In addition, the chestnut is resistant to night cold and frost.
Ledermann cannot yet say definitively when the work will be completed: "it depends on the weather. The soil must be dry or frozen."