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elka tree planting campaign 2023

From left to right: D. Hilden-Kuntz (Head of Sales & Sustainability, elka), M. Faust (Head of the Hottenbach Forestry District), J. Schneberger (Head of the Idarwald Forestry Office), H. Arend (1st Deputy Kempfeld), H. Kempf ( 2nd Alderman Kempfeld), H. Albohr (Mayor Kempfeld), L. Kuntz (Managing Partner elka), G. M. Lersch (Managing Director elka)

3735 young trees for the forest near Kempfeld

Blick auf die Wiederaufforstungsfläche bei Kempfeld
View of the reforestation area near Kempfeld
The Morbach family business elka is supporting the Idarwald forestry district this year

KEMPFELD: For the fourth year in a row, elka is foregoing Christmas presents and instead supports a reforestation project in the region. The decision was made in favor of an area near Kempfeld in the Idarwald forest district.

On November 21st Larissa Kuntz, Gerd Michael Lersch, Frank Kommunalhardt and Dagmar Hilden-Kuntz from elka met with the delegation from Kempfeld for an on-site visit to plant the first trees. Mayor Horst Albohr, Heidrun Arend and Heiko Kempf were there from Kempfeld. As representatives of the state forest, forestry office manager Jasper Schneberger and district manager Marco Faust described the seriousness of the forest's situation.

The Kempfeld community forest is almost 77 hectares in size and contains 59% spruce. It used to be more, but in recent years the spruce in our region has suffered massively, explained Schneberger. Climate change with drought, heat and storms is causing her problems and the bark beetle is making things even more difficult. As a result, around 4 hectares had to be used for unscheduled purposes in the recent past. The open areas have partly been reforested through natural regeneration and planting, but a one-hectare hillside area is still undeveloped and it is precisely here that the donated plants are intended to form a healthy forest.

Larissa Kuntz mit einem Bündel Weißtannensetzlingen
Larissa Kuntz with a bunch of silver fir seedlings
Gerd Michael Lersch und Heidrun Arend bereiten ein Pflanzloch vor
Gerd Michael Lersch and Heidrun Arend prepare a planting hole

The state forestry team has made a special selection for reforestation. The main part is the silver fir. It is a native tree species that is less susceptible to bark beetles, gets along with less rainfall and, with its taproots that extend deep into the ground, can also cope with stony soil and has a better grip than the spruce. The second type of tree is the common beech, which is widespread in the Hunsrück.

A special feature of the mix of species is the third in the group, the birch. The birch saplings are already larger and serve as a screen for the two types of shade trees, beech and silver fir. The birch trees form a so-called nurse forest and serve exclusively to protect and nurture the main tree species.

The economic cultivation of wood takes place in different temporal dimensions than, for example, B. Cereals. The silver firs in Kempfeld will be mature in about 60 years and will be used as building material. During these years, each tree absorbed and bound approximately one ton of CO2 from the environment per cubic meter. When building with wood, this CO2 is stored for a long time. And that is what is special about the interaction between sustainable forestry and timber construction - because, in the opinion of recognized climate researchers such as: B. Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber has the opportunity to counteract climate change.

Larissa Kuntz und Marco Faust pflanzen gemeinsam eine Weißtanne ein
Larissa Kuntz and Marco Faust plant a silver fir together
Forstamtsleiter Jasper Schneberger und die elka-Leiterin für Vertrieb & Nachhaltigkeit Dagmar Hilden-Kuntz
Forestry department manager Jasper Schneberger and elka head of sales & sustainability Dagmar Hilden-Kuntz

This is one reason why elka-Holzwerke has been involved in reforestation projects for years; 14,335 trees have already been planted within a 20 km radius around Morbach. The choice of forests is no coincidence. Elka uses wood from the region - this saves CO2, keeps supply chains short, promotes value creation and maintains jobs.

The planting day ended with a lunch break together in the new Kempfeld community center.

Elka supports the project with 2,665 silver firs, 750 European beeches and 320 birches and thus makes an important contribution to preserving and strengthening our local forests and climate protection.

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