Bogs are wet, poorly drained areas with acid soil – not necessarily ideal conditions for trees, which either grow very slowly or die off. Despite this, certain species such as pine, spruce, birch and buckthorns survive here. They grow in scattered groups or alone giving the landscape an almost parklike appearance.
Old and decaying wood on tree trunks or roots offer food and protection to a host of species. They use the bark, hollow trunks or branches to forage for food, to build nests, incubate their eggs and as sleeping places. Deadwood is therefore often deliberately left standing in the forest, even if it does sometimes look rather “untidy” to some visitors.
The climate in a ravine forest is cool and damp. The dominant tree species are deciduous trees such as the sycamore maple, elm, ash and beech. The remote, inaccessible nature of the terrain means that the natural ancient woodland is often untouched by human hand.
It’s the mix that counts. As the name suggests, spruce, fir and beech trees are the predominant species in this type of forest. In the past, spruce was widely planted because it grows very quickly and it is now the dominant species in many areas of this type of forest. As a consequence, forest managers are now encouraging landowners to plant fir trees, beeches and other deciduous trees in an effort to improve biodiversity. And as a pleasing side effect: in autumn these mixed forests are a riot of colour.