Storm wood

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wind break and wind throw in the spruce forest after a storm with hurricane force
Commemorative plaque for major damage in 2002 in Styria

Storm wood , also called windthrow or windbreak , refers to trees that have been uprooted or kinked due to strong storms or hurricanes . This can at individual trees or in area occur, the latter especially for large spruce - monocultures occurs and is associated mostly with very high amounts of loss. In the forestry sector, the lost stocks of storm wood are counted as calamities .

In the case of windthrow, the anchoring of the tree in the ground by the roots is insufficient and the trunk and the root ball are knocked over. When Windbruch the ground anchor can withstand, but the bending strength of the strain is exceeded and it breaks.

The greatest windbreak damage in Central Europe is usually caused by autumn and winter storms. The hurricanes Wiebke 1990, Lothar 1999, Kyrill 2007 and Friederike 2018 caused a lot of storm wood there .


In the event of major storm damage, there is an oversupply of wood , which often causes the wood prices of the qualities concerned to fall significantly on the market. Windbruch therefore usually represents a financial loss even for forest owners who are not directly affected. This is due to the fact that wood cannot be stored indefinitely without losing quality and thus price. However, the financial losses are mitigated by a special income tax treatment of the use of calamities.

On the other hand, the trees uprooted by the wind, as dead wood, offer an ideal habitat for fungi or insects . In addition to positive effects for nature conservation, this can also lead to a strong propagation of pests, such as. B. the bark beetle and beetle years mean. This danger is particularly important in coniferous forests . Forests can also lose their ecological balance in the event of extensive tree loss .

Wind breakage can relocate forest roads and hiking trails in particular, making progress and orientation very difficult.

Elimination of windthrow by the fire brigade
Memorial in Naas to the windbreak caused by storm Paula January 27, 2008


The processing of storm wood is one of the most dangerous activities in forest work . After storm damage, the serious injuries or even fatal consequences increase during processing. Therefore, special courses and / or mechanical use ( harvesters ) are absolutely recommended. Since using the saw between the strained logs is life-threatening, even blasting is occasionally used.


  • Michael Rottmann: Wind and storm damage in the forest. Contributions to the assessment of the risk of breakage, to damage prevention and to the treatment of coniferous stands damaged by storms . Sauerländer, Frankfurt am Main 1986, 128 pages, ISBN 3-7939-0710-4
  • Dieter Germann: The assessment of the windthrow risk of the spruce on different types of locations . Communications from the Hessian Forest Administration (Volume 12). (Dissertation.) Sauerländer, Frankfurt am Main 1975, 103 pp., ISBN 3-7939-0390-7
  • Marco Heurich (written) et al .: Forest development in mountain forests after windthrow and bark beetle infestation . Bavarian Forest National Park; Scientific series (issue 14). Published by the Bavarian Forest National Park Administration and the Bavarian State Ministry for Agriculture and Forests. Bavarian Forest National Park Administration , Grafenau 2001, 182 pages, ISBN 3-930977-26-5

Web links

Commons : Sturmholz  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Exhausted cyclists recovered from the forest, August 15, 2017, accessed August 15, 2017.