Dry Summer for Kiefer
You can see that it has been a dry summer when you walk through the Kiefer plantations. The extreme drought of last summer in Europe caused drying and yellowing of large quantities of trees. Damage occurred to both young Kiefer trees that have been planted the past years as well as to older trees. It is estimated that the drought caused the dead of about 25 to 40 percent of the trees, with lower availability and higher prices as a result. Another effect of the drought is that the Kiefer has a slightly lighter color compared to normal.
For the grower not only the dead of trees leads to a reduction in harvest. Also lower availability of good quality branches, severe selection and larger distances leads to a lower efficiency and higher costs. At the end of the harvest season will be decided if some of the plantations will be completely renewed in order to enable a higher efficiency of the harvest in the future. For young Kiefer trees it takes between three and five years before they are ready to be harvested. This means that the effect of the severe drought on the availability and pricing may continue for several years. To what extent this will be remains unclear and it will also depend on future weather conditions.