Figures and facts: forest land and wood harvest

photo: F. Bombosch

To whom does the forest belong?

About one third of Germany is covered by forest. The federal government owns 4%, the Federal countries 29%, the entities (such as cities and towns) 19% and private forest owners 48% of the land. In Germany there are about 2 million private forest owners with an average forest size of 2.4 ha. The area size in the federal states is very different. 44% of forest enterprises own only 0-20 hectares of forest. Overall, however, these small forest enterprises possess only 5% of the total forest area of Germany. Almost 70% of the forest area of Germany belongs to a few large forest enterprises (3% of all businesses) with a forest area of 1,000 ha and more (Federal Statistical Office, Series 3, Series 3, 2013 and Bundeswaldinventur 3, 2014).

Logging in Germany
The average stand on each hectare of forest is about 330 cubic meters of wood. Thus, the wood stock in Germany's forests is higher than ever before. It is more than 3.4 billion cubic meters of wood. Thus Germany has the leading position in Europe.

56.1 million cubic meters of wood were harvested in Germany in 2011. A detailed analysis of the data of the Federal Statistical Office for logging in 2011 shows the following results:

Impact by tree species groups: Around three quarters of logging accounted for softwood. Spruce made up 50%. Beech and pine/larch were roughly equal (22% and 24%), oak had a share of 4%.

Impact by types of forest ownership: 43% of the total felling took place in private forests, about one-third (34%) in the state forest. The proportion of the corporate forest was 21%, of the Federal Forest 2%. The private forests supplied about half of the softwood (48%), and 30% of the hardwood. In the country's forest (coniferous 37%, hardwood 33%) the proportions of all species groups were approximately equal. The corporate forest had 30% in hardwood, 13%  in softwood (pine/larch) and 19% (spruce).

Impact by province: Bavaria, the state with the largest forest area (2.5 million hectares), supplied with over 30% the biggest share, most of it was spruce (40%). Oak, beech and pine / larch were between 21 and 25%. Baden-W├╝rttemberg contributed 15% to the German wood harvest. Almost 50% of the German timber in  2011 were produced in Bavaria and Baden-W├╝rttemberg. More data for logging in German: www.destatis.de