It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Germany's trees are stressed out. According to the foresters who trek through the country's woodlands each summer noting signs of illness, the top stress factor is climate change.
Summers in Germany have been much hotter than normal over the past few years. The excessive heat has not only dried out the trees, it's also provided ideal conditions for tree-damaging pests, such as the bark beetle, to multiply faster.
Bark beetles eat their way deep inside the tree's trunk, weakening it from the inside. If the coming spring is a mild one, then next summer could see a bark beetle epidemic -- a "ticking time-bomb," according to the Environment Ministry.
The figures in its 2004 report are alarming. The ministry concluded that 31 percent of the nation's trees fall under the highest level of damage, meaning that the treetop is completely dead. It's the highest figure since Germany began producing the annual report in 1984. Beech trees are the worst affected, with over 50 percent of trees bearing damaged tops. Oak trees are the second worst affected.