100.000 trees planted in Iceland

The Potsdam-based association Woods Up e.V. has completed its first reforestation project this year in Hafnarsandur, Iceland. Together, 10 volunteers planted 35.000 trees, bringing the total to more than 100.000 trees planted since 2020. Conditions were harsh and characterized by heavy rain, gale force winds and cool temperatures. Nevertheless, a total of 35.000 small trees were planted within eight days. The association has already been involved in Iceland since 2020, with over 100.000 poplars, willows, birches, rowan trees, sitka spruces and coastal pines now having been planted on an area of around 100 hectares thanks to donations. The planted areas are previously unused wasteland, which is why it is not a matter of merely converting existing forests, but of genuinely creating additional forest areas. The association is also active in Iceland because it is possible there to recultivate large areas with a very small budget and without bureaucratic hurdles. Another particularly favorable aspect is that no fencing is required and, because of the regular rainfall, no irrigation is necessary. Moreover, the land in Iceland does not have to be purchased, but remains in public hands, which ensures a permanent social commitment. Icelandic society has a strong interest in supporting reforestation in order to achieve climate protection goals, stop soil erosion and increase biodiversity. The association can also build on the expertise of Icelandic forest scientists, who have been researching which tree species thrive on the island for decades. The Sitka spruce, for example, has proven successful and now reaches heights of up to 30 meters there. In Germany, on the other hand, experimentation is still underway to determine which tree species might persist in the future, and there are also enormous hurdles and challenges to domestic reforestation projects. Woods Up is planning another project in Iceland for the fall, in addition to the realization of a so-called tiny forest in the Potsdam urban area, which could plant an additional 15.000 trees. The association hopes that the €7.500 needed for this will be raised through donations. The planting team has also been following the current discussion about the demolition of the Staudenhof from a distance and has noted with annoyance that the city of Potsdam is sticking to its brute and climate-damaging building policy. Historicizing backdrops seem more important than the proclaimed climate emergency.

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