Reforestation means in forestry planting trees or sowing of seeds with the aim of forest cover, often referred to as restoration of a previous, disappeared due to deforestation, forest cover storm damage. Was the aufzuforstende area previously planted with forest, one speaks of a reforestation, afforestation otherwise of a.

Reforestation and natural regeneration are essential core idea of ​​sustainable forest management. The different reforestation techniques are the subject of scientific forestry silviculture teaching.

Implementation and impact

In an ecological reforestation distinction is made between the methods of forest seeding and planting of the forest. While in a forest seeding, the seedlings are well rooted from the beginning mostly, it comes in a study carried out with coarse technical aids forest planting often damage and deformity of the roots that give the tree less maintenance and also affect growth. Twelve years of research root of the Bavarian State Institute of Forestry (LWF ) showed that only 19% of all investigated planting trees had no root deformations, while the tapered sown trees and 69% had a perfect root system. Also planting shocks that result from differences in the ground of the nursery and the Auspflanzungsgebietes, a small tree or cuttings can finally let go. Known plant densities are between 400 trees per hectare for a tree garden and 1,000 trees per hectare for a Nutzforst. In the pine forests of the GDR also planting densities of 10,000 trees per hectare were common.

Bamboo forests in monoculture often form impenetrable walls for larger organisms and accordingly offer little habitat for flora and fauna. It is expedient from the beginning firebreaks for fire and pest control to create. These corridors are also used for irrigation during drought or as a transport route for timber harvesting.

In dry areas the precoating of young trees is alternatively carried out not only with the watering can, but also with complex hose irrigation systems or the use of Gelwürsten. These sausages are comprised of 98 percent water, which is converted by means of cellulose and aluminum sulfate in a dry on the surface of gel consistency and enables a controlled, evaporation poor watering the young trees, where the occurring soil bacteria enzyme cellulase one in the decomposition of the dry water - Gelwurst key role.

Fast-growing trees have a higher water requirement than slow-growing, and so it may happen that a newly planted forest with thirsty trees bounding farmland just dry places. Through a clever tree selection and optionally a reduced planting density can be this serious problem, however, mitigate or even avoid.

The oriented on primary forest afforestation of rainforests practical way by recombination of found in animal faeces collected tree and shrub seeds. Particularly in demand here are the feces of monkeys and bats, as monkeys and bats are well known for their intensive consumption of forest fruits.


Deforested regions can reforest prove difficult. Partial only survive half a percent of the set trees. You are missing nutrients and existing in the forest soil microbes. In and on the roots growing mycorrhizal provide the young tree with water and nutrients. Different groups of bacteria prove to the growth of tree roots as helpful as some of the growth hormones of trees secrete similar materials, as well as solve phosphate and fix nitrogen. This environment is a young tree before in an existing forest. Combining fertilizers and pesticides with the microbes fails because phosphate fertilizers against some bacteria and fungicides are effective against mycorrhiza. An attempt to use the microbes on fruit trees in addition to faster growth led to an earlier and smaller and tastier emergent fruit yield.


The hoped-for by afforestation effect is regionally and temporally differently. In general, to be achieved through reforestation activities all these forest functions.

  • Reduction of soil erosion by wind and water, preservation of fertility of surrounding agricultural land ( China's Green Wall, Dust Bowl in the Midwest of the U.S.)
  • Increase the ground water level
  • Protection of groundwater basins
  • Restoring biodiversity
  • Halting a near desertification
  • Prevent flooding by high water storage capacity of the forest.
  • In mountainous regions of protection against avalanches
  • Wood utilization or exploitation of the fruits, leaves, etc.
  • Capture and storage of CO2 to reduce the greenhouse effect (CO2 sequestration )

Two Canadian scientists published in 2011 a study on the effects of reforestation on the CO2 content of the atmosphere.


The first historically documented successful method for reforestation with coniferous seeds on a large scale developed in 1368 the Nuremberg Council and Trade Mr. Peter Stromer (around 1315-1388 ) in Nuernberg Reich Forest. Thus, this forest was the first art forest in the world and Stromer as "the father of forestry culture." In Germany, the reforestation of cleared or damaged forest areas under the Federal Forest Act obligation ( BWaldG § 11).