Field trees

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Field trees on agricultural land

A field wood (also field wood island ) is a small-area stock of trees and bushes . The latter separates it from the group of trees , the grove and the hedge . Field trees differ from bushes due to their higher proportion of trees and are mostly located on areas that are difficult to use for agriculture.


The bushes and tall perennials lining the edge of the field trees make up only a small proportion of the species, inside you can find a forest-like microclimate . In addition to rose plants , you can also find vetches and bed herbs . The edge areas, on the other hand, show large microclimate differences due to different exposure, similar to hedges. Information on the area differs in the literature, but does not exceed 0.5 ha. The ratio of the leaf area to the soil area is higher than that of the forest.

History and function

Ecological significance: As remnants of former forest or as planting measures, field trees contribute to the biodiversity of the cultural landscape , serve as a landscape structure, represent natural elements between the economic areas and are also of great ecological importance. As small structures, they form, for example, stepping stones between various fauna and flora valuable biotopes within the framework of the biotope network , they are habitat and living space for indigenous, partly endangered species, they offer food space and wintering quarters. They provide nesting quarters for birds, provide cover for wild animals or, together with fruits, form the basis of food for insects and the food chain.

Functional meaning: Field trees are found as a structural and functional element in the cultural landscape. They serve to demarcate small ponds or streams from the agricultural area, and provide support on slopes and terraced paths or areas through roots. Depending on the location, they also offer wind protection as a hedge. They can also be found in inaccessible areas, such as in places where the site has been extracted (such as quarries) or embankments (such as walls or hills).


The diverse number of species is often cited as a criticism by agriculture , as it is unclear whether animals that live there are potential pests for the producer. Since, for example, most of the forest and species with a larger ecological impact area are concerned and the food supply is insufficient for large quantities of possible pests such as weevils or aphids , a better dependency chain of the species can be assumed due to higher diversity, which leads to a development of mass occurrences of Limited pests. About 30% to 40% of the pests are infested with parasites due to the prevailing diversity .


  • Hansleo Spahl: The functions of hedges and field trees. Hedge mapping in northern Breisgau. In: Hecken und Feldhöölze (= messages from the forestry research and research institute Baden-Württemberg, department of state maintenance . 13, ZDB -ID 251087-x = messages from the forestry research and research institute Baden-Württemberg. 144). Forestry experimental and research institute Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg (Breisgau) 1990, pp. 16–56.