Where do acacia trees grow

Aargau Solothurn - Unusual tree felling campaign to protect the Aare dam

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What looks like an act of vandalism is in fact an official tree-felling action: acacias have to be felled in this way so that they don't sprout any more. This action is necessary, among other things, to protect the Aare dam.

Anyone walking along the Aare near Rohr that day will come across strange tree blemishes: bark was deliberately removed from several trees with a chainsaw, the trees have been given real rings. You'd think vandals raged.

No vandalism

What looks strange has been deliberately done by the forester and has a very specific purpose. The trees are acacias. Trees that do well in Switzerland but do not originally belong here. They are alien plants that have been introduced. In technical jargon they are called neophytes.

These trees cannot be got rid of simply by sawing them down. "In this case, the acacia would only grow more and as a result all the more acacia trees would grow," explains Bruno Schelbert. He is the program manager of the Aargau floodplain protection park. The acacias are in an alluvial reserve, and this belongs to the Rupperswil-Auenstein power plant.

In order to remove the acacias sensibly, they have to be "curled", as the expert explains. “You saw these wide rings into the wood and remove the bark,” explains Schelbert. The tree dies within a year and can now be sawed without any consequences.

Protect the Aare dam from deep roots

There are several reasons for this action: First, trees with a trunk thicker than 30 centimeters have to be sawn on an Aare dam. "Otherwise the roots can damage the concrete slabs in the dam," explains district forester Max Senn to the regional journal Aargau Solothurn.

Second, the acacia is an alien plant and displaced others. And thirdly, space is to be made on the Aare dam for a species of orchid that blooms there. It is a subspecies of the orchid. The orchid has many small, purple flowers.

Lots of reactions, but not negative

The area forester reports that the unusual felling action has already caught the eye of several walkers on site. Although signs inform about the action, Max Senn has to give the same explanation every now and then. "So far, there have been no negative comments," he explains.

Incidentally, despite the unusual tree-felling campaign, the wood can still be used, explains the floodplain protection program manager Bruno Schelbert. Because acacia wood is particularly strong, resistant wood, similar to oak. Even in a year, when the trees are definitely felled, the wood will still be usable.

alab; Regional journal Aargau Solothurn 5:30 p.m.

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