Germany’s oldest oaks defy the drought
Germany’s oldest oak trees in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are defying the rain deficit. However, there are fewer visitors.
Germany’s first “national natural monument” – the centuries-old Ivenacker oaks (Mecklenburg Lake District) – will also defy the drought in 2022, but have fewer visitors. “The year 2022 was not even a big challenge for the giant trees in terms of weather,” said Forestry Director Ralf Hecker of the German Press Agency. The loamy soil absorbs the few rain showers well and can store the water for a long time. In the case of beeches and oaks, there are even signs of a “fattening year” for the animals, i.e. a year with lots of fruit such as acorns and beechnuts.
“But we are observing that significantly fewer tourists are traveling in the country,” explained Hecker. In the high season, up to 800 visitors came a day. In the Corona record years there were up to 1400 guests per day in the high season. “We expect about a third fewer visitors this year, but maybe that’s more the norm.” Most recently, around 110,000 guests were counted a year.
With an age between 800 and 1050 years, the Ivenacker oaks are the oldest pedunculate oaks in Europe. Experts had already confirmed the amazing vitality of the giant trees during the drought years from 2018 to 2020. Here, too, the ancient oaks benefit from the water-storing location on Lake Ivenacker.