Planting of individual trees or tree groups

Planting of individual trees or tree groups
In agricultural landscapes, individual trees or tree groups act as stepping stones. © Yann Kohler

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Spatial planning, Nature protection, Transport

Affected habitats

Grassland, Arable land

Description

Individual trees and small tree groups are a key element of the landscape and have high ecological significance. They provide habitats and refuge for many different animal species and are therefore valuable stepping stones in the biotope network. They also enrich the appearance of the landscape (e.g. by visually enhancing large areas of farmland) and increase its recreational value (e.g. by providing shade for seating areas). Due to their cultural and historical value, too (e.g. as symbols of peace, or where they had a role in the execution of justice), individual trees have landscape significance. Old trees in particular should be preserved in farmland, one reason being that their cavities provide particularly valuable micro-habitats. The planting of new trees should also be supported. Trees with a trunk circumference of at least 12-14 cm should be planted, and should be well-adapted to the chosen site.

Impact

Impact in particular on Small mammals, Birds, Insects
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats Individual trees enhance the surrounding landscape and provide an important habitat for numerous species of fauna.
Element of ecological network In open countryside and agricultural landscapes, individual trees constitute valuable stepping stones and thus play an important role in connecting isolated near-natural landscape elements.
Other Beneficial to local climate.
Time of realisation for measure Years: Newly planted trees develop their function in the biotope network with increasing age.
Impact scope Local (municipality): Individual trees play an important role as stepping stones in the local biotope network.

Implementation

Implementation period Weeks: Prior to planting, meticulous planning is required; maintenance is essential after planting.
Frequency Non-recurring: In addition, regular maintenance of the trees is needed.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): Funding can be provided in some regions for individual trees and rows of trees on arable land (approx. € 20/tree); costs depending on size amount to approx. € 100-400/tree; cost of maintenance € 40-100/tree/year.
Socio-economic impacts Low: Individual trees and groups of trees are valuable landscape-enriching elements and sources of food (fruit, blossom for tea) and of timber and fuelwood.
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation In most regions, particularly large and ancient individual trees are often designated "natural monuments" or "protected landscape elements".

Further information

Evaluation The major importance of individual trees and groups of trees for nature conservation is apparent, inter alia, from their designation as protected landscape elements or natural monuments. Their importance for the biotope network is recognised and they are often promoted/protected within the framework of biotope network initiatives. They are also suitable as an element of an inner-city biotope network.
Information Germany: More information can be obtained from the responsible nature conservation agencies and at: http://www.landwirtschaft-mlr.baden-wuerttemberg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1109685/index.html/

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