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Institute of

WF Forestry


Estimation of fellings

Estimation of wood removals and fellings in Germany

Official statistics underestimate the realistic figures on annual felling substantially. During the last years the difference between the official statistics and a proposed realistic figure was more than ten million cubic meters. By using a modeling approach, we try to close this information gap.

Background and Objective

The annual felling in Germany is a key parameter for the use of wood resources and thus for the evaluation of sustainability and for the estimation of unused potentials of wood. In addition, felling statistics are relevant for the calculation of carbon storage in forests and wood products. Our main objective is to develop a calculation model that allows the calculation of realistic felling data.


The amount of felling will be calculated for the last nineteenyears. The calculation model is designed in a way that the calculation can also be undertaken for upcoming periods. However, forecasts should not be made.

Data and Methods

Our method for determining the real felling is based on the recalculation of the used amount of roundwood also taking into account of foreign trade and stock changes. Databases are official statistics, statistics of industry associations, and results of various empirical studies.


By using the ex-post calculation approach for the use-side estimation of wood fellings in Germany we calculate the amount of fellings for the complete period of investigation (1995 - 2013). The calculated fellings for 2013 were about 68.8 million m³ u. b. A strong tendency toward the use of roundwood from forest for energy production can be seen. The total use of roundwood for energy purposes roughly doubled from 1995 to 2013. The amount of fellings in total was slightly increasing during the entire period of investigation. When it comes to the material use of wood, the use of softwood dominated with on average more than 80 %. The energetic use of wood differs from the material use in terms of wood species, and significantly more hardwood is used (on average about 50%).

Over the total period of investigation, the average difference between the official felling statistics and the calculated values amounted to 16.1 million m³, but varied between a minimum of 7.1 million m3 in the year 2000 and a maximum of 20.6 million m3 in 2010. Thus, the official felling statistics account for only about 77 % of the fellings calculated in this study.


1.2014 - 12.2015

More Information

Project status: finished

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