tackle it!

Photo: Ahram Chae


In short, there are currently three major threats to German forests.

  1. Low species diversity (still too many spruce-pine monocultures).

  2. Increasingly long and intensive droughts due to climate change.

  3. The velocity of climate change exceeds the natural adaptability and dispersal rate of trees.

Solution: Klimawald model

The Klimawald (Climate Forest) model is a holistic approach to deal with these threats.

  1. Thinning to reduce competition and water stress.

  2. Planting diverse tree species to spread risk and enhance resilience.

  3. Future-oriented species selection considering climate change scenarios.

Implementation: Klimawald Bayreuth

Since April 2019 we have been building Climate Forests in Bayreuth with forestry practitioners, scientists, and citizens.

We thinned a 1-hectare spruce-pine forest, damaged by drought and storm, and regenerated it with 11 species of conifers and broad-leaved trees; 7 of them are native; 4 come either from Southern Europe, the Mediterranean mountains or from North America.


spruce-pine forest 


mixed forest

After the first Planting Action, there were two Watering Actions in July and August 2019 to save the seedlings from drying out.


Since then, guided excursions, training courses, and dialogue events have also been held at the site.


In November 2019, the second planting was carried out by the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald e.V. (German Forest Protection Association) near the existing climate forest area.


In the meantime, the idea has been spread beyond the borders of Bayreuth and inspired students in Höxter, for example, to establish a climate forest as well.

In Bayreuth, there will be a further planting action in autumn 2020, which will be based on the results of the survey of survival rates planned for the coming summer.


The site is 1 km away from the Amt für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft (AELF; Office for Food, Agriculture, and Forestry) Bayreuth. From the AELF Bayreuth to the site, it takes about 5 minutes by bike and about 15 minutes on foot.


  • Planning


Avg. temp. Bayreuth 2018

(compare to 1961-1990 average)


Avg. temp. Germany 2018

(compare to 1961-1990 average)


Assumed global warming 2100
under RCP4.5

  • Planting



1 1

No. of species


No. of saplings


No. of volunteers

  • Watering


-72% prec.

Weather Bayreuth Jun. 2019

(compare to 1961-1990 average)


-28% prec.

Weather Bayreuth Jul. 2019

(compare to 1961-1990 average)


No. of volunteers

  • Monitoring


Avg. survival rate

by the end of Aug 2019

Goals 2020








3rd stakeholder roundtable meeting

Excursion: Forests for Future? (Public Climate Week)

2nd planting by SDW Bayern (with participants of advanced-training in nature and landscape conservation)

1st survival rate monitoring

2nd Watering Action / Excursion: Get to know Klimawald

1st Watering Action

Excursion: Biodiversity Info Day by AELF Bayreuth

2nd stakeholder roundtable meeting

1st Planting Action

1st stakeholder roundtable meeting












Massachusetts Climate Action Network: Saving the planet, one tree at a time (27.4.2020)

BR24: Der Klimawald in Bayreuth | Frankenschau (19.4.2020)
GCE Blog: From Carbon Offset Week to COVID-19 – The story of Klimawald (18.4.2020)

Umweltbundesamt: Blauer Kompass – Nominierte Kategorie Bildungs- und Forschungseinrichtungen
Elitenetzwerk Bayern: „Klimawald“ – klimatolerante Wälder
Nordbayerischer Kurier: Für jedes Fahrrad einen Baum (15.11.2019)
UBT-Aktuell: Klimawald Bayreuth – auf die nächsten 80 Jahre! (14.10.2019)
Nordbayerischer Kurier: Klimawandel – Die Suche nach dem Baum der Zukunft (3.8.2019)
Bayreuther Tagblatt: Bayreuther Klimawald in Gefahr (19.6.2019)
GCE Blog: Klimawald Bayreuth – About planting trees and seeing change (11.6.2019)
Deutsche Welle: Studying in Germany | Eco India (7.6.2019)
Heinrichtsblatt: Angeregt durch päbstliche Enzyklika (May 2019)
Frankenpost: Solidarität für den Klimawald (30.4.2019)
BR24: 5.000 Bäume in drei Tagen – Bayreuth bekommt einen Klimawald (26.4.2019)
Nordbayerischer Kurier: Bayreuths Klimawald – Mehr als 4700 Bäume für den Klimaschutz (26.4.2019)
Nordbayerischer Kurier: Solidarität für den Klimawald (26.04.2019)
Radiobeitrag BR: 5.000 Bäume in drei Tagen – Bayreuther pflanzen einen Klimawald (26.04.2019)
Radio Galaxy: Fast 5.000 Bäume für Klimawald (26.4.2019)
Bayreuther Tagblatt: 270 Helfer im Klimawald – Bayreuther Pflanzaktion startet (25.4.2019)
TV Oberfranken: 4.719 Bäume pflanzen für weniger CO2 (25.4.2019)
BR24: Regionalnachrichten Franken (24.4.2019)

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