David Brown writer, and countryside ranger in Scotland, reports on trees in the Czech Republic.
My friend from the Czech Republic, Šárka (pronounced ‘Sharka’), sent me the attached photo and I thought it would be interesting for people to get an idea of how global warming appears to be affecting land-locked country.
The Czech Republic is an eastern country only in a political sense. Geographically it’s in the middle of Europe and is known as ‘the roof of Europe’ because it is on the roof of the Continental crust; it has a lot of mountain ranges, including the Carpathian Mountains, but none of them are especially high compared to other European mountain ranges.
Decreasing Ground Waters
The level of their ground waters is decreasing (this is a problem for the whole of Continental Europe). According to their ecology reports, the ground isn't able to hold water and that makes it dry. It is caused in many ways; mostly because there are a lot of concrete surfaces which have drains running to streams, these overfed streams consequently run fast and create deeper and deeper channels, which lead more and more ground water away.
Trees with shallow roots like spruces are endangered most of all because they can't reach the lower levels of water. Some pines are dying too, this is caused by a combination of bark beetle and dryness; without sufficient water, the pines can't produce enough resin, which normally stops the beetles. Now the pines can't protect themselves.
In the photograph below the trees are dead and have been felled for timber. The tops of the trees, normally having the most needles, can be seen to have lost them due to lack of water.
Covid 19 Pandemic
This year the Czech Republic has had more rain than in the previous five years. Although Czech newspapers say that this has nothing to do with C19, many there believe that the increase in rainfall is indirectly caused by the virus – a direct consequence of the decrease in air traffic.
The huge wind turbines they have are also seen to be a contributing factor in their disruption of normal cloud activity. But the immediate problem is the lack of ground water.
Creating moors could be one way of holding on to water. This would benefit trees with shallow roots like the spruces and pines as well as other plants.
Thank you very much to David Brown for reporting on this important issue.
He is featured in our DirecTree, where you can find out more about him.
PS: If you want to do your bit to combat climate change and global warming you can take part in our tree planting and protection projects. Climate change is a global problem. What happens in one country affects other countries across the globe. This is why we support tree planting worldwide.