It’s cold in the rhon, but kuno ruttiger doesn’t need gloves. "When you’ve been in the woods for so long, you’re used to it", says maria ruttiger about her husband. He himself stands at the electronic precipitation scale. A look inside the rough metal hopper shows that hardly any snow has fallen yet.
Every tuesday kuno ruttiger sets off for the forest climate station in bad bruckenau. His wife often accompanies him. A narrow road leads up the mountains from oberbach. The morning sun floods through the trees, some deer take flight. At some point, the asphalt becomes a bumpy gravel road. At the rhonklub-hut oberbach ruttiger turns sharply to the left, to kellerstein. To the right is the feuerberg, to the left the gebirgsstein. Finally the two reach the top of the kellerstein.
A large number of measuring stations
a piece of forest, fenced in, nothing more – this is the first impression of the forest climate station. But at second glance, you notice the numbers on the trees and the mabbander around their trunks. Female keepers collect the litter that falls from the crowns. There are containers in the ground to collect the seepage water from the ground. Kuno ruttiger heads for a hut in a targeted manner. He applies vacuum to the suction candles that measure the moisture of the ground. "You can see in time when things are getting tight for the trees", ruttiger explains.
The suction candles are just one of the many measuring stations that kuno ruttiger is in charge of. In 1953, he started as an apprentice at the bad bruckenau forestry office. 44 years later he retires. But he can’t leave his forest behind: when the stand measuring station is set up on the kellerstein in 1998, ruttiger signs up as a sampler. For 15 years, he has been on the road every tuesday for the amt fur ernahrung, landwirtschaft und forsten bad neustadt (AELF) (food, agriculture and forestry office).
Up to the hoof in snow
"it is unusual to be able to perform such a task so reliably at such an age, even in often extreme weather conditions", wilhelm schmalen, forestry director at the AELF, praises kuno ruttiger’s commitment. And indeed, the sampler sometimes stands hoof-high in the snow, fighting his way to the measuring equipment.
And why this torture? "Because I like to be in the forest", says the former "master craftsman", who as a hunter is still on the prowl today. At the end of november, the oberbacher celebrated his 75th birthday. Birthday celebrated. But he does not want to stop for a long time yet. Together with his wife he looks after the forest station "as long as his health permits".
Forest climate station bad bruckenau
location the bad bruckenau forest climate station is located about 1.5 kilometers east of oberbach in the middle of the bavarian rhon nature park at a height of around 810 meters on the summit of the kellerstein near the kissinger hutte.
Verbund there are a total of 22 forest climate stations in bavaria, which are integrated into a european-wide network for monitoring native forests. The site in bad bruckenau was added in the mid-1990s.
Goal the dense network of forest climate stations serves as a basis for scientific research. The goal is to document the development of the forests. Special attention is paid to the effects of pollutants on forests and the changes caused by climate change.