"They are planting the forest of the future here"

Tree planting event for employees from Wittgenstein

Rain? Not really. A little rain for the official start of the TREEATHLON® reforestation project at Albrechtsplatz would have been a nice sign in this drought year of 2022. But as has happened so often in this spring and summer, the announced low pressure system passed by our region and the initially forecast 90 per cent probability of rain was reduced day by day to 10 per cent. But this could not detract from the large-scale planting campaign carried out on 3rd September on the 3.2 hectare reforestation area at Albrechtsplatz. On the contrary. It was a great day for everyone. For the employees of EJOT and the Wittgenstein Berleburg'sche Rentkammer and also for the guests.

After just three hours, the EJOT logo at the northern edge of the reforestation area had already been planted with 800 red oaks. More than 50 trainees and students put in a lot of hard work. A few days earlier, the trainees with support from Helmut Zacharias, head of the learning workshop at the Herrenwiese site, had marked out the planting area for the logo together with employees of the Rentkammer. And on the planting day itself, Helmut Zacharias and the trainees and students provided optimum support for the anniversary team to ensure that everything went off without a hitch. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to them. 

The leaves of the red oaks are still green. In the course of autumn, the leaves will start to change colour and turn red. The EJOT logo will then become more recognisable. In addition to red oaks, Douglas firs, grand firs, sycamores and larches were planted throughout the reforestation area. The many employees who participated in the planting with their families throughout the day were enthusiastic about the project and paid great respect to the employees of the Rentkammer who provided technical support: again and again, the volunteers could be heard saying "It's not that easy to plant a tree". Even though the Neheim planting spade is a special planting tool with a vertical tip, a special technique is required. The planting hole is not created by the use of force and impact, but by the body weight of the planter. In view of the fact that the employees of the forestry authorities will be reforesting large areas this autumn, some people started to reflect. It is impressive what is being done here for society. Because trees are still the largest store of CO2. The central question for many as to why a planting campaign is being carried out in this period of drought was answered by Gustav Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in his welcoming address: "Take a good look at our plants, they are special," said the head of the Rentkammer. In the past, it was customary to plant forest plants in the ground without a root ball (the forester would say bare-root). "Today, so-called container plants are planted. Due to the ball at the root, these can withstand a longer period of drought of up to four weeks and get their nutritional reserves, if you will, planted along with them." Prince Wittgenstein was enthusiastic about the project idea that was developed at EJOT: "I think it's great to introduce them to the idea of sustainability in forestry in this way and to make them part of the topic, so to speak, I still think is a great approach. This is great because we are planting trees that are still rather niche in our home country and are part of our response to climate change. They are planting the forest of the future here. This is great because we hope to stay in touch with them in the future and they'll ask about their trees from time to time."

Above all, this is another important aspect of the TREEATHLON® project: looking at how the plants develop over the coming months and years. Forestry experts from the Rentkammer will answer all questions and explain interesting details. In addition, we will regularly organise interesting excursions for employees. 

"For EJOT, the TREEATHLON® project fits very well into the sustainability strategy – the goal of which is to reduce CO2 emissions in the EJOT Group to zero by the year 2035," Christian Kocherscheidt emphasised in his speech. The annual CO2 capture in the reforestation area will be "only" 24 tonnes per year over time, but we will have the opportunity to learn a lot about our forest and climate change and raise our awareness of sustainability," Kocherscheidt continues.

And what about the rain? A few drops fell on the day after the planting, and a little more in the following week. A glimmer of hope for the young plants. We will keep an eye on them.


Contact EJOT Group

Andreas Wolf

Public relation

There was a great deal of activity on the planting day in the staked logo area, where red oaks were planted. The red oaks still have green leaves.
District forester Steffen Schmidt (left) gives tips on how to use the special spade. Also in the picture are Iris Kocherscheidt, Christian Kocherscheidt and Bernd Fuhrmann, the Mayor of Bad Berleburg.