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The Oak

HísLorv, Ecoíocv,
ManacemenL and
Proceedin¤s ¦rom a con¦erence
in Linkopin¤, Sweden,
911 Mav 2006

5617 · MAY

The Oak – History, Ecology,
Management and Planning
Pioceeuings íiom a coníeience in Linkoµing. Sveuen.
9÷11 Nay 2006
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Omslagsfoto: Nicklas 1ansson (tv) och Goran 8illeson (mitten och th)
Papportredaktor: Maria Lngvall
Porm: Cecilia witt-8rattstrom
Kurt Adolfsson: 6,8 (portrattet),l2,l6,l8,20,22,26,28,30,32,36,38,
40,42,44,46,48,50,54 ovre,58,60,6l: Martin Larsson: l0,24: Peter Dahlstrom: 34:
Per Petersson: 43: 1ens 1ohannesson: 52,53,54 mitten, 55,56,57.
CM Digitaltryck AB
Ir is nov eviuenr rlar rle Sveuisl oak íoiesrs anu oak µasruies lave
naruial anu culruial values oí inreinarional imµoirance. In oiuei ro liglliglr
rle lisroiy. ecology anu managemenr oí rle Sveuisl oak lanuscaµe an inrei-
narional coníeience vas oiganiseu.
1le coníeience vas lelu 9÷11
oí Nay 2006 in Linkoµing. Sveuen. %BZ
anu veie lelu inuooi in Linkoµing anu in EBZ rvo uiííeienr excuisions
veie oiganiseu: one ro rle oak lanuscaµe Lerveen Linkoµing anu ArviuaLeig
anu rle orlei ro rle oak lanuscaµe suiiounuing Þoiikoµing.
1le aim virl rle coníeience vas ro summaiize rle inreinarional knov-
leuge aLour lisroiy. ecology anu managemenr oí oak enviionmenrs on rle
level oí sµecies. laLirars anu lanuscaµes. 1le coníeience vas a µlaríoim íoi
uiscussions Lerveen scienrisrs anu µiacririoneis in Sveuen anu noirlein Lu-
ioµe. Seveial ienovneu exµeirs on lisroiy. ecology anu managemenr µairici-
µareu anu gave lecruies. 230 µairiciµanrs íiom eiglr counriies veie arrenuing
rle coníeience.
Uníoirunarely rle long-reim conseivarion oí rle Sveuisl oak lanuscaµe
is rlieareneu. 1le laigesr rliear is rle slov oveigioving oí rle agiiculruial
lanuscaµe uue ro seizeu giazing. Also íiagmenrarion. lack oí oak iegeneiarion
anu exµloirarion aie ciirical issues. 1le coníeience auuiesseu rle conseiva-
rion values anu lov ve can acr anu co-oµeiare ro ieacl conseivarion raigers
íoi oak enviionmenrs. Recenr ieseaicl anu Lesr µiacrices vas µiesenreu anu
cuiienr voik anu íuruie µiioiiries uiscusseu.
1lis ieµoir summaiises rle µioceeuings íiom rle coníeience. 1le lecruies
aie µiesenreu on rvo µages eacl anu rle excuisions aie uesciiLeu in rle enu
oí rle ieµoir. In an arracleu CD you vill nnu rle µiogiamme. µairiciµanr
lisr. µovei µoinr µiesenrarions anu many µlorogiaµls íiom rle coníeience.
We loµe rlar rle coníeience gave knovleuge. insµiiarion anu sriengrl
ro all µairiciµanrs in oiuei ro give rle oak lanuscaµes vlar ir ueseives anu
neeus. We loµe rlar rlis coníeience ieµoir vill uisseminare rle iesulrs íiom
rle coníeience also ro rlose inreiesreu µeoµle rlar uiun´r lave rle oµµoiru-
niry ro µairiciµare.

European oaks: cultural history and ecology 0ííver Rackham 6
Oak behaviour in relation to large herbivores Frans \era 8
The history oI oak in the Scandinavian landscape since the last ice
age Ríchard Bradshaw 10
The political history oI the oaks in Sweden Irom the 16
to 20
century Per Eííasson 12
The oak tree, Irom peasant torment to a uniIying concept oI landscape
management Jerker MosLrom 14
Changes in the biodiversity oI oak habitats in Sweden through the last
centuries Sven 0. Níísson 16
The Iauna and fora on oaks: how important are the Swedish oak habitats
in a European perspective? Anders Dahíberc 18
What about the regeneration oI oaks in the Swedish Iorests? Frank
0oLmark 20
Fluid relationships: The inclusional neighbourhood oI oak trees and
Iungi Aían Ravner 22
Habitat requirements and distribution oI wood- and bark inhabiting Iungi
on oak SLeíían Sunhede 24
The interaction oI oak-Iungi and beetles and the use oI a saproxylic index
in Britain KeíLh Aíexander 26
What can we learn Irom the ecology oI Osmoderma eremita? Thomas
Raníus 28
What have we learnt Irom massive inventories oI the oak beetle Iauna
and how can we use the results Ior their long term conservation?
Níckías Jansson and Karí-0íov Bercman 30
Oak regeneration challenges in nature based Iorest management Paííe
Madsen 32
Geographical analysis oI oak environments in Sweden and Östergötland
Jens Johannesson, KenneLh Cíaesson and Tommv Ek 34
Veteran oak tree surveys and management at United Kingdom sites
Nevíííe Fav 36
The oaks in natural and cultural landscape and the management oI oak
habitats in Germany LebrechL Jeschke 38
How to combine nature conservation values and recreation with oak
production and the importance oI scale Erík Ederíof 40
Ecopark Omberg: visions and possibilities Per PeLLersson and Tommv Ek 42
The work with oaks in the municipality oI Norrköping and a frst approach
oI landscape-planning Ior the oak Eva Sííiehoím and Kai AímquísL 44
The action plan Ior Osmoderma eremita and other oak living beetles and
the action plan Ior trees with high conservation values Kieíí AnLonsson
and 0ííe Hoíier 46
DiIIerences in perspective between England and Sweden when managing
oak habitats what are the diIIerences? \íkkí Forbes 48
The revival oI the oak landscape through multi purpose management
and presentation oI a management handbook Cíaes Svedííndh 50
Tinnerö: Working in a large mosaic landscape with oaks, culture history
and landscape planning Anders Jorneskoc and 0ííe Horfors 52
Brokind: Artifcial nests Ior wood mould insects and oak regeneration in
wooded pastures Níckías Jansson, Karí-0íov Bercman and Karín
Bornefaíí 54
Adelsnäs: Restoration in oak habitats 0usLav Adeísward, Johan
Adeísward and Tommv Ek 56
Excursions to Norrköping oak landscapes: Händelö, Ingelstad and
Bråborg Kai AímqvísL, Eva Sííiehoím, Thomas AppeíkvísL, Biorn-Erík
Hoím 58

Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
European oaks: cultural history
and ecology
Presented by Oliver Rackham, Corpus
Christi College, Cambridge, England.
Europe has nearly thirty different species of
oak. It invaded the continent 10 000 years
ago and thereafter became common in
most parts of the continent. When the gla-
cier of the last ice age withdrew northward,
mixed deciduous forest migrated up from
refuges in the south parts of Europe. One
reason for its successful colonisation is that
it is highly adaptive to different kinds of
environments. It can grow in almost any soil, in various climates and on dif-
ferent altitudes. It regenerates through cloning or seeds and it can grow very
large or stay really small, like some Greek species that are more bush-like
than tree-like. They invade abandoned felds; grow on grazed land and along
the railways in England. They grow in forests, in oak coppices, scattered
among other trees, in wood pastures and on farmland. There are evergreen
oaks with really deep root system, and deciduous species with more shallow
Different species beneft to different degrees from various human activi-
ties, like woodcutting, pasturing, abandonment of land and burning. Some
oaks can resist fre, since they have a barque that protects the trunk against
the fames. Others yet have underground tubules for regeneration after fre.
Benefits of the oak tree for human use
The oak tree also has a unique range of uses for humans. Some of these uses
are determined by the properties of the different oak, but they also vary from
one human culture to another. In Japan, the oak tree is a low status tree, in
Spain it is not at all used as a timber tree. In France, the timber is used as
railway sleepers, whilst in Sweden it was used for the grounds in the houses
during the earlier centuries. In England, the majority of the buildings from
the middle ages were made of oak. One building consisted of 300 small oaks.
At that time, they more often used the young oaks for timber production
and the trees rarely grew as big as they are today. They used the size that was
suitable for the purpose. The whole oak tree was sometimes used for making
dug-out boats, which should have been quite a hard work to do, since the
tree is really hard and can easily split.
There was also a substantial import of oak timber from Poland and Lit-
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
huania. It is the perfect timber for furniture, since its structure is really hard
and it hardly ever rots. The leaves were used as food for the cattle, the acorns
for both animal- and human food. The barrels in which whisky and wine was
aged was made out of oak wood. And it was, and is, a symbol of majesty.
The oak change
The oak is also a victim of the tree globalization. Since the beginning of the
century the oak has gone through a drastic change. During the early 20

century, there was a fungi – Phytophthora quercina – that was spread from
North America and reached Europe. It invaded the oak trees’ root system
and made it weaker and less tolerant to shade. The result of this infection is
that the oak now is less competitive against other tree species. While the oak
struggles against the shade and competes for light, the fungus is an extra bur-
den for the tree. Also, the fungus probably makes it harder for the oak tree to
carry out the photosynthesis. This is probably one reason why there is such a
lack of younger oak trees in England – the regeneration is prohibited by the
fungi infection.
Picture 3:
A field with old pollarded
oak trees – a method that
has been used to prevent
the tree from casting shade,
and also to protect valuable
timber from grazers.
Picture 4:
Coppicing is the practice
of cutting trees to ground
level, in order for the tree to
produce more timber.
Picture 1 and 2:
Through history, oak timber
has been used by mankind
for the construction of i.e.
houses, churches and ships.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Oak behaviour in relation to large
Presented by Frans Vera, Driebergen,

The present is the key to the past. That is
the basic rule in paleoecology, for recons-
tructing the past. In other words – species
behave today as they did in the past. The
present is that oak is a light demanding
species that do not regenerate well in
forest reserves in the company of more
shade tolerant species. In fact, they are
ousted within two centuries by these species. Oak is obviously not a closed
canopy forest tree.
However, pollen analysis show that in the past, oak was present together
with these shade tolerant species for thousands of years. Also at present day,
oak regenerates very well in the presence of shade tolerant species – in wood
pastures and on wooded meadows. These habitats are park-like landscapes,
grazed by livestock like cattle and horses, and also by species of wild ungu-
lates like deer and moose. And since they prevent the landscape from turning
into a closed canopy forest, they facilitate the regeneration of oaks.
Present forests are former wood pastures
Many of the forest reserves today were actually wood pastures in the past.
When these forest reserves were established, cattle and horse were removed,
since those were considered to be alien species introduced by man. Without
these grazing animals, wood pastures soon turned into close canopy forests
– where oak regeneration is poor or absent as a result of oak disappears, to-
gether with other light demanding plant species.
In the primeval vegetation, there were indigenous species of large grazing
in the past, for example the aurochs that became extinct in the 1600s,
and the tarpan that became extinct in 1887. These ungulates, together with
other grazing and browsing wild ungulates like European bison, red deer, roe
deer, elk and wild boar kept the landscape open. These grazing and browsing
species that still exist today, like bison, red deer and elk, are everywhere kept
artifcially in very low densities, since they prevent the regeneration of trees
in the forests and therefore possess a threat to the traditional forestry. They
are also kept in low densities in forest reserves, because of the classic theory
about the primeval vegetation. This theory states that the primeval vegetation
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
was a closed canopy forest. Forest reserves are considered to be modern ana-
logues of the primeval vegetation. Because in high densities existing grazing
and browsing animals can prevent the regeneration of trees in forests, these
animals are also artifcially kept in low densities in these forest reserves. Wit-
hout a suffcient amount of wild ungulates, and the domestic animals remo-
ved from the landscape, the wood pastures soon turned into closed canopy
forests, where oak and other light-demanding species disappear.
Shrubs as a protection from overgrazing
The process of regeneration of trees in wood pastures is that young trees
– among them oaks - are nursed by thorny shrub species like blackthorn and
hawthorn or by other plant species that are not or less palatable for large
ungulates. These species are also light demanding and establish themselves
in open grassland, grazed by cattle and horse. Within these, oak and other
tree seedlings and saplings can grow up. Oak is very common in wood-pas-
tures, because there the jay hoards acorns in the fringes of the thorny shrubs.
Thereby the jay plants acorns where seedlings and saplings of oak meet al-
most optimum conditions to grow up, that is in full daylight and protected
by a nurse species. If the nurse species concern small scrubs, seedlings and
saplings of tree species grow up as solitary, so-called open grown trees. If the
nurse species spreads clonally, like the blackthorn does, groves are formed .
Inside the groves the regeneration of trees is prevented at frst by the shade
and secondly by the large ungulates themselves, a phenomenon that is known
from the practice of forestry and grazing forests by livestock. It is a non-li-
near, cyclic succession where thorny shrubs invade an open grazed grassland.
The shrubs remain solitary or scrubs are formed, which allows seedlings of
trees to grow up, protected by the shrubs and solitary open grown trees, or
groves, are formed. The trees die and the groves change into open grassland,
where the thorny shrubs establish again.
In many forest reserves today, which are mainly closed canopy forests,
there are still large oaks However, their presence is not a proof of positive
oak regeneration in closed canopy forests. It is a memory from the past,
when the forest was a parklike wood pasture,
with grazing livestock and other large indigenous
ungulates. Former wood pastures now being closes
canopy forests are representatives of a mixture of
two different histories. Because of the presence of
oak in combination with shade tolerant tree spe-
cies, it is not the closed forest that is the closest
modern analogue of primeval vegetation – it is the
park like wood pastures together with cattle and
horse and other wild living ungulates who facilitate
the establishment of trees in open grassland, and
at the same time prevent the regeneration of trees
in the groves (forests), and by doing so, inducing a
non-linear, cyclic succession .
Picture 1: Oak is not a closed canopy
forest tree species.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The history of oak in the
Scandinavian landscape since the
last ice age
Presented by Richard Bradshaw, University of
Liverpool, England.
Genetic and paleoecological studies reveal
the patterns of oak colonisation through
Europe and into Scandinavia after the last
ice age. The historical distribution of oak
was frst estimated through studies of pol-
len; and this was confrmed by the genetic
and molecular biology studies that were
done later. There are two lines of oaks, one
emerging from Italy and one from Spain.
(Picture 2)
The primary driving force for the dist-
ribution of oak has been climatic changes.
Populations were largest and reached their
northernmost extent about 6 000 years
ago and has slowly retreated southwards
ever since. This is seen in the actual distri-
bution of trees, but also in the paleoecolo-
gical studies of pollen.
Foresights about climatic change that will
result in warmer temperatures predict that the
oak will have a larger distribution in the upco-
ming years. It will spread up to more northern
parts of Sweden and will also have a larger
population throughout Europe.
Human activities influence oak distribution
It is, however, not only the climate that ef-
fects the oak distribution. It is a species that
is highly affected by human activities and dis-
turbance changes. Fire, for instance, is one factor
that strongly infuences the oak distribution. It
is of great ecological importance in broad-leaved forests, but has the latest
centuries been more or less abandoned from northern European forests. Oak
gain on fre, compared to several of its competitors. They can withstand fre
to a certain extent, and its pollen can better survive a fre than the pollen of,
for example, birch.
Picture 1: The oak distribution
today (above) and under future
climate (below)
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Another factor is grazing and browsing by animals – the importance of
large ungulates on past forest structures. One unknown and still uncertain
variable is the size and the number of the past ungulate populations. Several
observations, however, show that it is probably not only the ungulate pres-
sure that has formed the historic landscape. It is highly probable that there
were several different factors that infuenced the historic forest structures.
The effect of fire and grazing
Studies in two different forests in Halland show how present forest structure
has developed. During the 20
century there were an extensive planting of
spruce, and the forests are today dense with a closed canopy. Plant macrofos-
sils show that more open conditions prevailed earlier. There are signifcant
amounts of large charcoal fragments recorded at these sites from the middle
ages, and smaller amounts until 1650. The following years, until the early
1800s, it is just sporadic occurrence of charcoal. Fire as the mean for keep-
ing the forest open was replaced by grazing animals from 1700s to the mid
1900s when the forest canopy closed.
Fire, together with grazing and browsing, maintained the forest open
during earlier centuries, and was probably an important factor in the process
of oak regeneration. Historical forest structure was probably more open and
varied than found in present day reference forests.
The conclusions drawn from these studies are:
• Oak history is driven by climatic change
• There is a strong relationship with moderate fre regime
• Herbivores are one of several controls
• The future for oaks in Sweden looks good, because of the upcoming
warmer climate.
Picture 2: Different lines of oaks in Europe, one emerging from Italy (red dots) and one from Spain (yellow dots).
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The political history of the oaks
in Sweden from the 16
to 20

Presented by Per Eliasson, University of
Lund. Sweden.
The confict in Sweden between the state
power and the peasants over oak trees was
one about many different values – culture,
economy, politics and ecology. It was not
only about ownership and timber, but
also about the oaks role in damaging the
crops and about the oak as a symbol of the
In 1558, the Swedish King Gustav Vasa declared that all oaks belonged
to the crown, at least all oaks on taxed- and crown land. Nobility owned
the trees on noble land. The main purpose was to save the oaks to the navy,
for the production of ships. Farmers could ask for permission to fell oaks on
their land, but it was very diffcult to obtain. The felling also had to be done
with a saw instead of the usual axe, and it had to be followed by compulsory
planting of oaks – two new oaks for each one felled. The planting was done
in small plantations, usually with bad results.
Historic oak decline
So, felling an oak was not an easy thing to do Because oaks have quite a big
impact on the vegetation and crops on the farmers’ lands by casting a sha-
dow below it, farmers started an extensive branch cutting, partly to reduce
the leaf mass, but also driven by a sheer oak-hatred, hence, more or less a
deliberate destruction of royal oaks. The result was a rapid decline in the
number of trees ft for the navy’s use.
It was not only the farmers’ branch cutting that resulted in oak decline.
Naval offcers in Kalmar and in Kronoberg made a frst oak inventory in
1729–1732. In Kalmar the navy had used a lot of the good oaks, to build
ships for the war. The inventory showed a huge difference between the two
areas. In Kronoberg there were a lot more healthy oaks than in Kalmar and
the portion of bad quality oaks was substantially higher in Kalmar than in
Nation wide oak inventory
The frst nation wide inventory was made in 1791–1795. The oaks were
counted, the position of the oaks were recorded as well as the quality of the
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
trees. Finally, they marked the trees that were supposed to be saved with a
In the second nationwide inventory, in 1819-1825, the navy offcers that
performed it discovered that the number of good oaks had been reduced by
82 percent. The parliament came up with a solution in 1828, to try and save
the oaks. New trees, useful for the crown, were to be planted. At the same
time they decided that the peasants could buy the oaks on their land after a
new inventory. In 1832, a new inventory was made; this time not only the
good oaks were counted. This time, they marked the oaks that were going to
be felled – in the frst inventories they marked the oaks they wanted to save.
The farmers oak-hatred, manifested in branch cutting, and the navy’s own
stamps ruined the timber trees. These scars were an easy way in for fungus
that started the decay process. In addition, the navy’s selective felling of good
trees and the farmers legal felling for clearance contributed to a landscape
dotted with large numbers of dead, decaying and hollow trees. The resulting
landscape changes were initially good for biodiversity, since the decaying
trees maintained habitats for many species. However, since many of the good
oaks at the same time were cut down, there were few trees left to grow old
and to constitute new habitats for the insects and fungi.
The consequence of the oak-hatred and the battle between peasants and
the crown, as well as the massive felling of good oaks to build ships for the
war – was a rapid deterioration of oaks. Remaining oaks grew mostly on
noble land and crown estates and even today the best oak habitats are on
these land areas – as a memory of our history.
Picture 1: An old map over Lake Vättern and a request from the crown to plant new oaks.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The Oak Tree, from Peasant
Torment to a Unifying Concept of
Landscape Management
Written by Jerker Moström,
National Heritage Board of Sweden, Sweden.
The expression “Tender oak trees and young noblemen should be hated” is
an ironic peasant saying originating from the 18th century. It expresses the
hatred within the peasant community towards the nobility and the oak trees,
caused by what they perceived as injustices in the contemporary Swedish fo-
restry acts.
In the Middle Ages the oak tree, regardless of its place of growth, was
more or less considered state property. During the 16
and 17
century this
policy was reinforced as a result of the consolidation of the state interests and
the expansion of its military power. The production of oak tree timber was
dedicated to the Royal Navy. Therefore the felling of oak trees was an exclu-
sive state affair on both crown land and on allodial land.
What caused the strong dislike for the oak among the peasants were obvi-
ously the restrictions on their land use but also the fact that the oak trees had
a negative impact on the arable land. The dense tree crowns shaded the felds
and stunted the crop growth. Due to the slow decomposition of the acidic
oak leaves, felds, meadows and grazing lands covered with oaks were also
generally less productive.
Picture 2: Today the oak tree is seen as a versatile asset
which enriches the landscape in many ways. However,
only a few centuries ago it was a source of conflicts bet-
ween the state and the peasants. Photo: Kristina Ask.
Picture 1: The appearance of the grand oak tree of
Rumskulla is an obvious reminder of the great time
depth of the landscape. Photo: Nicklas Jansson.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
A symbol of power and opression
During the 17
century the oak became not only an important source of
income for the nobility but also a physical symbol of the wealth and power
of the aristocracy. Ideally manors should be surrounded by oak tree forests
and the roads within the estate should be designed as oak tree-lined avenues.
While the peasants did what they could to limit the damage on their land by
secretly eradicating the plants and damaging the old trees by pruning, bur-
ning and removal of the bark, the nobility took active measures to encourage
the growth of oak trees.
During the 19
century the forestry policies changed and the restrictions
on oak trees on crown- and allodial land expired. Initially peasants were
only allowed to exploit old and bad oaks, but later on the restrictions were
completely removed, resulting in a rapid decrease of the number of oak trees
since the peasants were eager to get rid of their hated enemies.
A new symbolic value
From the mid-19th century and onwards, the associations projected onto the
oak tree gradually changed. Land owners now gained equal property rights
and the overall inequalities of the pre-industrial society subsided. As a result
of this, the oak tree was no longer perceived by common people as the phy-
sical manifestation of oppression and injustice. Today the oak is attributed
positive characteristics.
The oak tree of Rumskulla (Kvilleken), in the county of Kalmar, offers
mind-staggering perspectives on the time depth of the landscape considering
it is literally still a living prehistoric organism. By the time the Rumskulla oak
was a sprouting plant a thousand years ago the people of Scandinavia were
busy carving runic stones and exploring Europe with their Viking ships.
At the moment we are facing the great challenge of implementing the
European landscape convention into Swedish management practice. The
landscape convention stresses the importance of local participation as well as
a multidisciplinary approach to the landscape. It also conveys a multipurpose
perspective on the use of the landscape. The oak tree is no longer a signal
of social injustice causing disagreement and division, but rather a symbol of
diversity and richness in the landscape. Perhaps it is also the kind of unifying
concept that the landscape convention asks for. Yet, one might also wonder
whether the oak tree landscapes even would have arisen, if the European
landscape convention had been implemented in the past, giving the nobility,
freeholders and tenants equal rights in defning the values and use of the
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Changes in the biodiversity of oak
habitats in Sweden through the
last centuries
Presented by Sven G. Nilsson, Lund
University, Sweden
The typical oak habitat in Sweden today is
probably the cultural landscape with wood
pastures. The disturbances from human
activities in the landscape have changed
during the last centuries. Fire and grazing
is more or less gone, which probably is one
reason why the regeneration of oaks has
declined. Since the mid 1800s the meadows in Sweden are more or less gone.
Also, the fooded areas along rivers were in earlier days an ideal habitat for
oaks, since they are more resistant to fooding than most broad-leaved tree
species. When these areas were turned into haymaking areas or farming land,
the oaks disappeared.
The drastic changes in the distribution, number and ecological quality of
old oaks in Sweden has also had effects on the biodiversity. There is direct
evidence from historical records of birds, lichens and some insects that used
to be widespread in the Swedish landscape, but now are very rare or have
even gone extinct.
Oak as a habitat for many species
The oak is associated with a number of species – the biodiversity in the tree is
very high. It is a complex web of factors that contribute to the oak as a habi-
tat for many species. The long life cycle, the different stages of decay etc are
probably important reasons for the high biodiversity.
The oak is a very stable habitat. A dying or decaying oak does not disappear
or undergo dramatic changes for a couple of hundred years. That makes an old
oak favourable compared to a more temporary substrate such as a wind-felt tree.
When the oak disappears, many beetle, fungi and lichens go with it. One
example is the bird Dendrocopos medius. It went extinct in 1982 in Sweden,
although it still exists in some sites with old oaks around Europe. In the 18

century it was a common bird in the south of Sweden. When the protec-
tion of oaks disappeared 1832, the oak habitats started to fragment. Recent
studies have shown that one pair needs an area of at least ten hectares with
many old oaks. A viable population can establish when there are many such
sites not too far from each other, which is hardly so in Sweden today.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Because the birds do not move more than ten kilometres, the fragmentation and the
loss of habitat eventually led to the bird’s extinction.
Habitat changes that affect the fauna
Among the beetles that are associated with the oak, the Lucanus cervus is
one of the most characteristics. It used to be very common in the south of
Sweden, especially when the oaks were very abundant on the pastures and
meadows, up until the beginning of the 19
But as the amount of oak trees has decreased, so has the habitats for the
L. cervus, which is why the beetle is not as common today as it used to be.
Another beetle, highly associated with oak, is the Osmoderma eremita. It
is not often seen, since it can live its entire life in the same tree. Only ffteen
percent of the adult beetles leave their original tree and those who do, do not
move very far. The beetle is sort of an indicator of high biodiversity. In the
presence of the O. eremita, there are a lot of other, often vulnerable, species.
Although there are more than 200 sites in Sweden where the O. eremita is
observed, very few of these are appraised to be viable in the long run, mainly
because these sites are too far from each other, but also because most of them
inhabit less than 500 individuals.
The future for many of these species depend on how the oak landscape
is managed in the future and the regeneration of oaks has to be substantially
larger than it is today. It is now a lack of the 100–200 years old oak genera-
tions in the Swedish landscape. For biodiversity conservation in the south of
Sweden, the oak tree is the most important tree.


Picture 1 and 2:
Two species, highly associated with the oak. The
Lucanus cervus, which is still seen in the Swedish oak
landscape, and the Dendrocopos medius which has
now gone extinct in Sweden.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The fauna and flora on oaks – how
important are the Swedish oak ha-
bitats in a European perspective?
Presented by Anders Dahlberg, Swedish
species information centre, SLU, Sweden.
Oaks, especially old and coarse ones, har-
bour a remarkable interesting and diverse
fora and fauna. In Sweden, it is the tree
species that are associated with the highest
number of species, probably for several
reasons. One is that the tree can get really
old, at this coarse state it can provide many
different niches. The associated species
have evolved when the oaks were more frequent and are often dependent on
an oak habitat with many oaks where distances between them are short.
Dramatic landscape changes
With changed land use practices, the oak landscape has gone through a dra-
matic transformation in Sweden as well as in the rest of Europe. Old growth
deciduous forests, meadows and wood pastures have been reduced to a small
part of their original coverage. As a consequence of the decline in oak ha-
bitats, several of the species associated with the oak tree are also becoming
more and more threatened.
It is necessary to make priorities in conservation and management of
species diversity. The oak associated biological values must be defned and
analysed. Either from a species perspective by studying what species are
found, how they are distributed and what their possible future may look like.
Or, from a habitat perspective by looking at the occurrence of the habitat
and its quality. Unfortunately has no such analysis has been conducted at the
European level. It require a substantial amount of information. A pragmatic
option is thus to use national analyses complemented with all avaliable infor-
Red Lists as a tool for conservation
Using the Red Lists can be one basis for setting priorities in management and
conservation of nature. It consist of a compilation of species ecology, distri-
bution and status and evaluates the species risk of becoming extinct.
A red listed species can be:
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
• Common but declining
• Uncommon and declining
• Very unusual
Nearly 700 oak associated species
are on the Swedish Red List from 2005,
mainly beetles, but also fungi and lichens.
Several of these species appear to have
a noteworthy share of their European
population in Sweden. 140 of the red-listed
species are estimated to have more than
ten percent of their European population
in Sweden, and 30 more are estimated to have at least 20 percent.
Of the oak associated species on the Red List, the major part consists of
different kinds of beetles. Natura 2000, a EU network with the aim to con-
serve species diversity, will follow up the status of three oak associated beet-
les species. Their status and development will be thoroughly analysed. One
of these is Osmoderma eremita, or the Hermit beetle. It now lives in 1 000
known localities in Europe, with the highest concentration in Sweden.
Lichen communities of Swedish giant old oaks are of high international
value. Especially in south-eastern Sweden, there is an abundant and rich fora,
due to the concentrations and continuity of giant oaks in combination with
good air quality. Swedish oaks comprise eleven species on the Red List, which
have more than 25 percent of the European populations. There are also 170
red listed oak fungi of which several have a large part of their European
population in Sweden. Hapalopilus croceus is one of these. It is extremly
rare and threatened throughout Europe. It has only 130 European sites and a
large share of the European occurrence are in Sweden.
All of these species are more or less dependent on old giant oaks. The
Swedish concentration of giant oaks in pasture woodlands is exceptional, de-
spite only a small faction of its earlier occurence, although especially Britain
has high numbers of giant oaks. Also Spain, Greece and Russia has a substan-
tial amount of old oaks. However, due to the severe decline in oak habitats
in Sweden as well as in other European countries during the last 200 years,
the future of the biologi-
cal diversity depends on
management. The oak-
habitats in Sweden are
signifcant from an Euro-
pean perspective and Swe-
den has an international
responsibility to manage
these habitats to secure its
biodiversity values for the
Picture 1: Map over European distribution of
giant oaks.
Picture 2: Nearly 700 oak associated Swedish species were red-lis-
ted in 2005.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
What about the regeneration of
oaks in the Swedish forests?
Presented by Frank Götmark, University of
Göteborg, Sweden.
In planning for future forests and in the
commitment to favour oaks, there has to be
deep knowledge about the occurrence and
development of seedlings and saplings. The
regeneration of oak has recently been studied
in two different surveys. The frst one was in
non-protected forests, mostly coniferous. The
other was in woodland key habitats; with
plots both in conservation cutting areas and in areas with free development. The
purpose of the studies was to understand the oak regeneration in relation to dif-
ferent forest types, the oak ecology, forest management and forest policy.
The defnitions used in the studies are:
• Coniferous forest: at least 60 percent conifers
• Broadleaved forest: at least 70 percent broadleaved trees
• Seedling: small oak, less than 25 cm tall
• Sapling: small oak, ≥ 1,3 m tall to 5 cm in diameter at 1,3 meter
• “Large” oak tree, or oak tree: ≥ 15 cm in diameter at 1,3 meter
• Young forest: average height of trees less than 7 meter
• High forest: average height of trees more than 7 meter
Regeneration in broad leaved- and coniferous forests
In the frst survey, the regeneration of oaks in deciduous and broad-leaved
forests was compared. The results showed that there is considerable more
regeneration of oak in broad-leaved forests, but since there are so many more
coniferous forests in Sweden, the overall result is that there are substantially
more young oaks growing in coniferous forests than in broad-leaved forests.
Coniferous: 32–43 oak saplings per hectare
Broad-leaved: > 300 oak saplings per hectare
Coniferous: 32–60 oak saplings per hectare
Broad-leaved: 56–146 oak saplings per hectare
Overall: 63–74 percent of all saplings in the study area (Southern third of
Sweden), grew in coniferous young and high forest. These saplings may be
favoured rather than removed and it is potentially easy to increase the density
of oak trees.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The effect of conservation cutting
In the other study, in woodland key habitats and nature reserves, the focus
was on differences in oak regeneration due to cutting or thinning versus free
development. The survey started in 2000, and during the winter 2002/2003
half of the one-hectare study plots were thinned by the removal of 25–30
percent of the tree biomass. In 2005 the oak saplings and seedlings was coun-
ted again and the results showed that thinning increases seedling density.
More light favours survival and growth of oak seedlings. Partial cutting is
hence one way to favour oak regeneration.
In a comparison between a national forest inventory during the years
1983 to 1987 and a similar inventory during 1998-2002, the differences in
oak regeneration is striking - the oak saplings have decreased substantially,
mainly due to browsing by deer and moose. The conclusions from this study
is that the forest practices and conservation policies that dominate the Swe-
dish forestry does obviously not favour oak saplings or seedlings. However,
the same inventory shows that the number of large oak trees has increased
during the same period, so the management of today favours big oaks before
young oaks. Since the results from several surveys show that good survival
and growth in oak seedlings requires canopy opening, it can be stated that
the practice of conservation cutting is necessary to strengthen the regenera-
tion of oak.
Picture 3 and 4:
The practice of conserva-
tion cutting allows the
sunlight to reach the
ground, which favours the
regeneration of oak.
Picture 1 and 2:
Before and after conserva-
tion cutting in one of the
study areas.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Fluid relationships: The inclusional
neighbourhood of oak trees and
Presented by Alan Rayner, University
of Bath, England.
What is an oak? A tree? Or a perfect habi-
tat for fungi and beetle? Simple questions
like that can sometimes be really hard to
answer, as the answers may very well be
diverse. However – they all contribute to
an overall understanding of the subject.
In ecology, the problem is that we tend
to defne natural forms, like oaks, as discre-
te objects in a fxed perspective. For millennia, our attitudes have been biased
through believing that nature can be defned into discrete material bodies that
are separated rather than pooled dynamically together. This way of looking
at nature, natural form, tends to create a dualism – is it this way? Or is it that
way? With or against? It is a sort of logic that in the end probably underlies
many kinds of mismanagement, since it excludes a lot of possibilities.
Present way of looking at nature
Another problem, when we are trying to answer simple questions, is that we
tend to separate ourselves from nature, as well as isolate the object (in this
case the oak tree). It leads to the alienation from our natural human neigh-
bourhood, and leads to environmentally unsustainable practices. There is no
such thing as an isolated natural form or object; there are no complete, fxed
boundaries or dividing lines in nature. So, the next question that follows is:
what is neighbourhood? It often tends to be perceived either as the surroun-
ding of an individual entity or as a group of entities within a defned space.
But – as mentioned earlier – there are no such thing as boundaries or dividing
lines in nature. And as for the oak tree – all the confnes of an oak tree are to
some degree impermanent and permeable. Full of holes. Indeed a holey place!
And what is a fungus? Fungi could be thought of as dynamic relational
fow-forms that can inhabit the living space of the equally dynamic relational
neighbourhood that we call an oak tree. And as a river is infuenced by, and
infuences the landscape it fows through, so do the fungi and oak tree infu-
ence one another reciprocally. Because there is no object that acts in a va-
cuum, an object cannot be isolated from its surroundings. The fungi and the
oak shape and reshape one another’s lives.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Including instead of excluding
There is a need for transformation in our view of the world and ourselves.
We need a view that does not exclude, but that rather includes. A shift in the
way we frame reality, from fxed to dynamic. A radically different perspective
emerges from “inclusionality” – the awareness of space as an inclusion of
natural dynamic geometry. We need to think about how our perceptions of
reality affect our appreciation and management of natural form and beauty,
like the oak tree and the fungi. Perhaps the most important role of ecology is
to understand complex fuid dynamic relationships rather than take sides in
what objectivity might lead us to perceive as the War of One against Other.
Picture 2: Painting made by Alan Rayner – Fountains of the forest.
Picture 1:
Co-creative sculpting by
fungi and oak.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Habitat requirements and distribu-
tion of wood- and bark inhabiting
fungi on oak
Presented by Stellan Sunhede,
Skövde University, Sweden. Stellan.
One of the main characteristics of oak is
the high biodiversity associated with the
tree. There are many beetles, several lichens
and a large amount of fungi that lives in
or on the oak tree. In order to assess the
amount of oak associated fungi, the non-
lichenized wood- and bark inhabiting fungi
on oak trees are being mapped and calcu-
lated in an ongoing project. So far, 95 000
oaks in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden,
have been surveyed with respect to population structure, spatial distribution,
habitat and substrate requirement. The fungus fora on individual oaks has
been inventoried with a little extra focus on rare and endangered species.
Brown rot and white rot
The oak trees are inhabited by a lot of different fungi, and these can – rough-
ly – be divided into two groups: brown rot and white rot fungi, respectively.
The brown rot species decompose cellulose and leave the lignin as a brownish
rest. The white rot fungi frst remove the lignin and then decompose a lot of
the cellulose, but they leave some behind as a whitish remnant.
The most common brown rot species associated with oak, are Laetipo-
rus sulphureus and Daedalea quercina. A rare species causing brown rot is
Piptoporus quercinus. The different fungi contribute to make the oak hollow
and create varying habitats for other organisms, in particular insects. There
are a lot more white rot fungi than brown rot fungi on oak trees. Phellinus
robustus is one of the most common species, while Inonotus dryadeus is a
rare fungus, which only occurs in habitats with a rich herbal fora. Even more
rare is Ganoderma resinaceum, which is only found in three sites in Sweden
– in Skåne, Halland and Blekinge.
Rare fungi in Sweden
One of the most beautiful oak habitats in Sweden is seen in Halltorps hage
on Öland. Here grow several old and thick oaks, and on some of these the
very rare Hapalopilus croceus is found. It is one of the fungi that are on the
red-list for endangered species, and it will probably become even more rare
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Picture 3:
One of the inventoried sites
– a wood pasture.
Picture 4:
Inonotus dryadeus
Picture 1:
One of the inventoried sites
– a fjord slope.
Picture 2:
Fistulina hepatica
since it lives solely on old oaks. There are not enough middle-aged oaks to
replace the old ones as they die.
The most famous Swedish oak is probably Rumskullaeken in Småland.
It is a fairly low tree, but with a substantial girth - more than 14 meters in
circumference. It has been hollow for a long time; even Carl von Linné wrote
in his stories about the oak – and it was then used as a tool shed. It is the
fungus Fistulina hepatica that has contributed to the hole in the tree. The
activity of this fungus has precluded the possibility to decide the age of the
oak, but by omparing the tree to other oak trees the age is estimated to about
1 000 years. Many times, the individual oak is colonized by several different
fungi, both brown and white rot species. It is quite common that the fungi
specialize on different parts of the oak. Some species are for example almost
always found on thick branches, while others are mostly seen near the base
of the tree. One way to protect and preserve threatened species of fungi is to
leave dead branches and dead, standing or fallen trees. These will make up a
perfect substrate for several fungi. Most fungi do not infect undamaged oaks,
but a small scar on the trunk or a broken branch may be enough for a fungus
to colonize the wood. One way to preserve these fungi is to inoculate an oak
with mycelia. This will speed up the decay in fresh trees in order to create
habitats for rare insects, as well as to transfer rare and endangered wood
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The interaction of oak-fungi and
beetles and the use of a saproxylic
index in Britain
Presented by Keith Alexander, Ecological
consultant, England.
The invertebrate fauna which is directly
dependent on decaying wood comprises
over 1 800 species in Britain, of which
700 are beetles. That equals six percent
of the total invertebrate fauna and 20
percent of the beetles in Britain. Oak trees
support an important part of this fauna.
It is not only old, hollow and dying
trees that are substrate for this fauna. Also young trees have dead branches,
even though they are small. As they grow and mature, more branches die,
bigger and often particularly lower parts of the tree. Early heartwood decay
begins when the tree is mature, even though it still has a full crown and good
lateral branching. As it grows older, the crown starts to get thinner, and the
the heartwood on the oak gets more and more hollow, the crown eventually
starts to sink andthe oak tends to “grow downwards”.
Factors that influence the fauna
During these stages there are several different fungi associated with the tree,
fungi that many beetles depend on. The beetle species have very particular
requirements, both in terms of type of fungal decay and the tree’s stage of
decay process. Also the situation of the decay and the host tree is important
for the beetles. Other factors which affect the fauna is:
• Total number of trees
• Density of trees – open grown vs. high forest
• Age structure of trees
• Management history – continuity
• Each site is unique
In order to succeed with a good conservation, there is, among others,
need for a species list and a comparison of different sites. There also need to
be a recording of tree factors as numbers, age and size, as well as informa-
tion about the different beetles rarity. The types of sites that are typically rich
in species are the ones with a long history of tree cover, often on relatively
uncultivated land and former hunting preserves.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Measuring rarity
There are several reasons why a species is rare. It can have a low mobility, the
niche can be rare, it can be under-recorded, unknown or a recent colonist. It
can even be a newly established non-native species. Traditional inventories
are therefore not always enough. A new tool, Index of Ecological Continuity
(IEC) is one way to reduce the uncertainty.
The Index of Ecological Continuity is a scoring system, used in order to
assist in the site assessment. It consists of a list where the different selected
beetles have scores according to their rarity and occurrence in old habitats
– the more restricted to habitats. The sum of all the scores of the species
found on a particular tree then signals the conservation value of that habitat.
The IEC saproxylic beetle list contains 180 species, which are graded ac-
cording to:
1. Only known from sites with old trees and long history (3 scores)
2. Mainly in the above (2 scores)
3. More widespread but collectively characteristic (1 score)
An IEC total score of 25 or more is assessed as a site having national
importance. The Index of Ecological Continuity, and the saproxylic beetle
list have to be revised over time and continuously developed. But, it provides
a working tool and a robust scheme for the nature conservation work. It is
now adopted by nature conservation agency in England, but there is also
need for a European IEC listing.
Figure 1:
Diagram showing Index of
Ecological Continuity (IEC)
for a number of sites in dif-
ferent age classes.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
What can we learn from the
ecology of Osmoderma eremita?
Presented by Thomas Ranius, Swedish
University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
In Europe, old growth broad-leaved forests
have declined to only a small fraction of
their original extent. Until the 19th cen-
tury, old oaks were fairly widespread in
pasture woodlands and wooded meadows.
Abandoned management and changed land
use practices have severely reduced these
habitats. When the old trees became scarce,
the species associated with them became confned to small remnants of their
original habitats.
Habitat requirements for Hermit beetle
Osmoderma eremita, or the Hermit beetle, is dependent on hollow trees. The
larvae develop in wood mould inside the tree during three-four years, and
the adult beetle is seen only for a few weeks in July and August. It has a high
priority in EU’s Habitat Directive, and is used as a model species in research.
There are records from 2 100 localities, but in only 900 of these localities
there are records since 1990. As these 900 are the ones where people have
been searching for O. eremita, they may very well exist on even more sites,
for instance, in south-eastern Europe. In Sweden, the species mainly occurs
in old hollow oaks in pasture woodlands.
Surveing spatial distribution
For conservation efforts to be effective, it is important to understand how the
spatial structure of the oak habitat infuences O. eremita. For that reason, a
number of sites were surveyed, differing in size and density of suitable sites
in the surrounding. Eight litres of mould was taken from each tree, and sear-
ched for remains of adult beetle body parts. The frequency of presence per
tree increased with stand size; single trees always lacked parts of O. eremita
With further studies – telemetry and capture-recapture – it was shown
that there were on average eleven beetles per tree and year, with a variation
between zero and 85 beetles per tree and year. These surveys also confrmed
that the beetles are rather prone to stay in the same tree their entire life, with
only 15 percent moving to another tree.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Fragmentation – a threat to the Hermit beetle
One conclusion drawn from these results is that fragmentation is negative
to the beetle. Trees in small stands are used to a lower extent by the beetle,
and are consequently less valuable, in comparison to trees in larger stands. A
simple population viability analysis based on the present knowledge, suggest
that many of the O. eremita populations will go extinct even if the habitat
quality remains constant. However, the extinctions may very well take deca-
des, or even centuries.
Some consequences for nature conservation are:
• Maintain or improve localities where the species is present. It is rarely
useful to create stepping-stones or corridors.
• It is important to avoid bottle necks in the number of suitable trees
over time.
• It is necessary to increase the number of suitable trees in many loca-
lities. Do not try to save every single locality, but give priority to
larger ones, or localities with a potential for restoration.
Picture 1:
Adult beetle of O. eremita. Photo: Niklas
Picture 2:
Distribution of O. eremita. Blue dot: last record before 1950, or the
time unknown; black dot: last record 1950-1990; red dot: last record
in 1990 or later.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
What have we learnt from massive
inventories of the oak beetle fauna
and how can we use the results for
their long term conservation?
By Nicklas Jansson and Karl-Olof Bergman,
Linköping university, Sweden.
The oak trees are the trees that inhabit
most saproxylic species in Sweden. There
has been several projects that has described
the saproxylic beetle fauna on old oaks in
Östergötland, during the years 1992-2003.
One of these was a recent inventory of 74
sites. Different kinds of traps were placed
in and around old oaks, suitable for saproxylic beetles. Window traps were
placed on brances in interesting habitats, and pit-fall traps in the mould in
old trees.
Each tree has a unique fauna – and with traps on fve trees, 50 percent of the
fauna were caught, with 20 trees, 90 percent of the fauna was caught. All in
all, 198 oak associated saproxylic beetle was found, of which 47 is on the red
Various characteristics are important for species diversity
One conclusion drawn from the inventory is that the sunlight is important to
some of the oak living species, and that forest regrowth therefore are negative
both for the old oaks and for some of its inhabitants. It was also clear that a
large girth is positive for species richness as well as the age of the tree. Most
species was found in oak trees in stage fve and six. A comparison between
were there are most species rich sites in Östergötland coincides with the sites
were there are most old oaks. The most common beetles are spread all over
the county.
For conservation purposes of species richness, there has to be and active
conservation and proper management of old oaks. Beetles dependent on hol-
low oaks with wood mould is the dominant group of red-listed species asso-
ciated with oak habitats. One hollow oak may be enough for some individu-
als – for a while. But how much is enough to ensure the long term survival of
beetles associated with old, hollow oaks? Some questions need to be answe-
red in order to work out a long term management plan for the conservation
of oak living beetles:
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
• How many hollow oaks do the organisms need for a functional
• How many hollow oaks are suitable for a certain species?
• What is the fraction of hollow oaks in a stable population with
regard to age distribution?
• How large area do a stable oak population need?
A large oak habitat is vital for stable beetle populations
A mix of data from two of the sensitive species, Elater ferrugineus and
Osmoderma eremita was used as models for calculations of long term survi-
val. Several studies, both empirical and theoretical, indicate that at least 20
hollow trees (patches) are needed to maintain a stable meta-population of
beetles associated with old, hollow oaks. But all hollow oaks are not suitable,
and it is the oaks in stages fve and six with a lot of wood mould that har-
bour a large proportion of the beetle individuals. Around 25 percent of the
oaks in those stages are suitable as a substrate for E. ferrugineus according to
empirical data.
For a population of oaks to have a stable age distribution without gaps,
only 15 percent of the area should consist of hollow oaks. After following
a scheme where information about age distribution of oak together with
information about area requirements of single oaks is added, the conclusion
was that a minimum of 57 ha:s is needed for maintaining a stable popula-
tion of beetles. However, up to 954 ha:s may be needed for the most habitat
specifc individual species. It can also be stated that,
unfortunately, this is not what reality looks like. The
oak habitats today are distributed in small patches
over the county. The fragmentation is a big problem
for the beetles, since they move very short distances.
So, the overall conclusion is that there is need for a
landscape approach for the long term conservation of
organisms dependent on hollow oaks in Östergötland.
Overgrown areas have to be restored, young oaks
should be planted in strategic felds, the oaks need to
be actively favoured during forest practises and the
oak timber production must be encouraged to create
larger continous oak areas.
Picture 1: The different stages of hollowness in oaktrees.
Picture 2: Elater ferrugineus
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Oak regeneration challenges in na-
ture based forest management
Presented by Palle Madsen, Forest and
Landscape, KVL, Denmark.
Nature based forest management has gre-
atly gained popularity in Denmark over the
last 15 years. It is emerging from a more
traditional forestry, which goes back 200
years. At that time forest clearance had
reach almost an ecological catastrophe.
Large parts of the country was covered by
heath land and the few remaining forests
were heavily grazed. This led to a shortage in wood supplies for the society,
and plantations of fast growing non-native conifers was thought to be a solu-
tion to the problem.
Today’s nature based forest management system is a movement away
from plantation forestry towards a system more nature like. It is part of a
general trend in forest and landscape management on both public and privat-
ely owned land. It rose from increased focus on multi-functional forestry and
from the problems associated with traditional forestry, caused by insuffcient
stand stability, reduced timber prices and high regeneration costs.
Various aims and interests
The Danish landscape is mainly characterized by farmland. 61 percent of
the area is farmland, while only eleven percent are forests, of which, 37 per-
cent are broadleaved forests (25 000 hectares in Denmark are oak stands).
Additionally, the government decided 15 years ago that the Danish forest
land area should double within the next century.
Management plans have a wide variety of aims and interests depending
on ownership, site etc. Recreation, biodiversity, nature conservation, wood
production, bio-energy, landscape aesthetics, cultural heritage and ground
water protection are among the most common. Private landowners may in
their goal setting particularly focus on issues like property value, investments,
hunting and the mere pleasure of ownership.
Ultimately the challenge for management is how to recognize all these
aims and how to handle shifting aims over time. It seems vital to try and keep
as many doors open for the future as possible in this process, since nobody
knows what the future will bring – a strategy that calls for both economical
and ecological sustainability.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Nature based forestry – working methods
The toolbox for a nature based forest management consist of several different
parts. Continous cover forestry is one of the common characteristics, alt-
hough clear-cuts of e.g. unstable stands may become relevant. Mixed species
and uneven aged forest structures are also some of the typical characteristics.
However, the species and structural diversity may not be found at the small
scale in each part of a forest. The heterogeneity is more to be found within a
scale of hectares rather than parts of a hectare. Nature based forestry is also
about growing site adapted species and therefore primarily native species.
Natural regeneration is the dominating regeneration form and pesticides or
fertilization is hardly used.
Oak regeneration is a major challenge in the nature based forest manage-
ment due to widespread use of the continuous cover approach. Canopy shade
and competition from more shade tolerant or fast growing species are known
to create diffculties for oak regeneration. Additionally, small oak are attrac-
tive for deer and it is often stated that “oaks have no future in nature based
However, various theories of the historic landscape can serve as a valuable
source of inspiration for new methods in forest and landscape management.
Several studies have shown that the oak regenerates well over time in a
grazed forest. Shade and competitors are removed which allow the oak to
establish, often sheltered by species like wild apple, sloe, hawthorn and roses,
to protect the seedlings and saplings from grazers.
An important challenge seems to develop oak regeneration methods for
nature based forest management. The approach is largely to mimic the na-
tural ecosystem processes and dynamics. Oaks seem to call for new ways of
combining grazing by domestic stock, wildlife management, and regeneration
measures like direct seeding and planting of various species mixtures.
Picture 1:
Average establishment rate for
oak seeding at 20 Danish ex-
periments at clearcuts. Some
were monitored only one year
and some up to four years.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Geographical analysis of oak
environments in Sweden and
Presented by Jens Johannesson, Kenneth Claesson and Tommy Ek, County
Administrative Board of Östergötland, Sweden.
During 1990-2004, the County Administrative Board of Östergötland sur-
veyed the landscape for valuable oak habitats. The result of that study is a
map of 18 000 hectares of oak and other broad-leaved high-value cores and
data about its biodiversity. It covers most of the broad-leaved habitats with
high natural value, but it is still only 1,7 percent of the total land area of
Östergötland and probably only 30-50 percent of the historical broad-leaved
High value cores in Östergötland
Of the surveyed high-value cores, 1 500 hectares – or nine percent – are in
nature reserves. 94 percent of the high-value cores are dependent on grazing,
but only 30 percent are actually grazed today. The distribution of red listed
and rare species are well known after this survey. Some of these species have
a large proportion of their European distribution in Östergötland.
The oak landscape was classifed into four different groups, with regard
to the age of the oaks and the size of the area. The high-value cores are found
in oak-wood pastures, on steep slopes, in grazed oak-pine forest, oak forests
or in urban environments.
Ancient trees in Östergötland
In another survey, also performed by the County Administrative Board,
Östergötland was surveyed for ancient trees during 1997-2006. Every old
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
or ancient tree was mapped and described and positioned on a GIS sheet, by
unemployed but trained people. More than 110 000 trees have been recor-
ded. Of these, 25 000 are oaks and 15 000 of these are more than one meter
in diameter. An additional 200 000 younger oaks have been counted, but not
By a newly developed system for describing the hollowness in oaks, the
shortages of hollow and/or old oaks in certain areas was recorded. The sys-
tem consists of seven stages of which the frst was not used in this study. The
possibilities for regeneration and the amount of replacement trees are now
quite well known. In this project there are also plans for restoration of over-
grown pastures and oaks, with fnancial support to the landowners.
Preservation by the use of a new tool
With a new tool – high value tract – there are new possibilities to preserve
species in the long run. A high value tract is an area characterised by a con-
centration of high value cores and/or a high concentration of red listed spe-
With a more geographically concentrated nature conservation, there are
better chances to get a higher degree of ecological functionality. Nation (or
county) wide full-scale surveys of valuable nature in Sweden will give new
possibilities for conservation. However, it should be used with care. One risk
is that areas not fully surveyed will not be classifed as high-value tracts, even
though they should. In a normal landscape, around one half to two percent
of the forest is (identifed as) high value core, very rarely above ten percent.
Combined digital data of the distribution of red data book species and
high value cores, as well as experience-based information was used to deli-
neate high value tracts in the County of Östergötland. For example, in the
tract of S:t Anna and Gryt archipelago, the total area is 44 200 hectares, of
which 1 502 hectares are classifed as high value core, equalling almost seven
percent of the land area. Within this area there are 136 red data book species.
To conclude – 30-50 percent of the oak habitats in the 18
and 19

century remain today in the best high value tracts. 70 percent of these areas
are not grazed today, resulting in 46 percent of the ancient oaks being over-
With these new tools and the detailed knowledge about oak habitats in
Östergötland, the next step will be to make a landscape strategy for restoring
these areas.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Veteran oak tree surveys and ma-
nagement at United Kingdom sites
Presented by Neville Fay
Treework Environmental Practice (TEP) & the
Ancient Tree Forum (ATF), England
The quality and the condition of Britain’s
old tree heritage are refected in the great
number of ancient tree sites found in the
British Isles. The majority of large sites are
in the southern part of England. To protect
and better manage these sites, the Ancient
Tree Forum was established. It works to
increase awareness, promote better protection, and to avoid loss of ancient
trees by improving knowledge and science on the subject.
The ATF does not only work within Britain, but also cooperates with
groups in other countries, like Spain and Sweden. However, there are some
differences between the perspectives in these countries. In Britain, the focus
is more on the ecosystem, whereas in Sweden the main interest lies in the
species associated with ancient trees.
Veteran and ancient oaks
The defnitions of veteran versus ancient trees are not always obvious. A
simple rule states that “All ancient trees are veteran, but not all veterans
are ancient”. The arboricultural classifcation relates to tree age, so that an
ancient tree is one that is beyond full maturity and in the fnal stage of life,
which is often the longest stage.
To monitor veteran trees and their habitat features in Britain, a Specialist
Survey Method (SSM), operating at three survey levels, was developed in
. A signifcant number of ancient tree sites in England have now been
surveyed by this method. It has proven to be a useful tool to understand the
habitats and to compare habitat quality and characteristics between key sites.
Using the SSM it is possible to obtain detailed information about tree
data, form, habitat and associated species. TEP have further designed an
arboricultural enhancement to the SSM (called the SSM+). This is used to
provide an understanding of the tree’s viability and structural condition, and
forecasts the probability of future decline, estimating the risk of failure for
each individual tree. The information is used to formulate Individual Tree
Management Plans (ITMP) and to minimise future ancient or veteran tree
loss – which is an essential strategy as old trees are obviously hard to replace.
This methodology has also been used at important Swedish veteran tree sites,
such as Särö Västerskog, Hördalen and Hallstad Äng.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Replacement trees
Veteran tree management need to enhance the viability of the existing popu-
lation while incorporating an effective replacement strategy for young trees.
The loss of ancient trees is slow and hard to recover from - with 40 percent
fewer saplings you get 40 percent fewer trees 250 years later. ITMPs are used
to guide the restoration program for individual veteran trees, using arbori-
cultural techniques such as retrenchment pruning. The plan runs for over 30
years with a number of return periods during those years.
New arboricultural techniques have been developed that mimic the natu-
ral processes in the way trees age, fracture and decline. This approach is infu-
enced by the many different disciplines that contribute to the ATF and this
now forms the basis of British “environmental arboriculture”. Some typical
methods in this approach include:
• Mimicking storm breakage
• Natural fracture techniques
• Crown restoration
• Retrenchment pruning
• Coronet cutting
• Rip cuts
• Haloing; the slow release from competition
• Enhancement of the rhyzosphere
The interactions between the tree and its surrounding are important if the
arboricultural program should succeed in supporting a functioning tree-eco-
system. Therefore the whole root-space and soil ecosystem, with associated
fungi and insects has to be taken into account.
The assessment of tree population dynamics at veteran oak sites shows
loss-rates of between one to two percent per annum, indicates that there is a
need to prevent man-made infuences that lead to tree failure while develo-
ping strategic management programs to reduce such losses since all ancient
trees are important.
Obtainable at
Ancient Tree
Picture 1, 2 and 3: Different arboricultural techniques to mimic the trees natural ageing process.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The oaks in natural and cultural
landscape and the management of
oak habitats in Germany
Presented by Lebrecht Jeschke, University of
Greifswald, Germany.
Oak immigrated into Europe around
10 000 years ago. They formed deciduous
forests together with elm trees and lime
trees. At that time, the reproduction of oak
trees was not inhibited by shade tolerant
species. The oak trees colonized a large
part of Europe and had its peak around
8 000 years ago. It was not until the early
Bronze Age, when the population of beech expanded, that the decline of
oaks began. The oak regeneration and spreading then started to reduce, even
though human activities had begun to create more suitable habitats for oaks
through farming by introducing grazing animals.
In Germany today, forests cover around one third of the territory. Oak
trees and beech trees together occupy one quarter of that area. Oaks alone
inhabit ten percent of the forested land. Half of the forests consist of conife-
rous species.
Niches for the oak trees
Oak regeneration in mixed forests is fairly dependent on human support, for
example conservation cutting. Otherwise the oak is more or less ousted by
the beech, as that is a more shade tolerant species. Actually, natural oak rege-
neration is found mainly in pine forests.
In beech dominated forests that are not directly infuenced by human
activities and land use practices, oak only have a niche in time. After a phy-
sical disturbance, like a storm breakage, the oak can regenerate because of
a temporary lack of competition for light. Niches in space, though, are not
common today. Oak trees are mostly seen on forest borders, steep slopes and
acid rocks. These oak communities in a steady state occupy only very small
places in habitats that may be too rough for other species.
There are also some niches for oaks in more dynamic sites, like fooded
plains. The oak tree is more resistant to fooding than most other broad-
leaved trees. It is above all a durable species and therefore has an advantage
over many other trees on sites that are subject to drastic changes over time.
In the natural succession after heavy forest damages the intermediate
forest seems to be the optimal habitat for oaks.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
In the cultural landscape the oaks have niches in the forests managed as
coppice and standard system forests. In abandoned felds oaks have in the
intermediate succession stages a broad niche in time too.
However to stabilizing these systems it needs conservation cutting and
clearing, or grazing animals, otherwise beech trees take over and the old oak
slowly disappears in the forest.
In the modern cultural landscape, old oaks are often relics of former land
using practices. It is seen in coppice forests and coppice and standard system
forests and especially in formerly grazed forests. Almost like a testimony over
the close bonds between oak regeneration and a more open landscape.
Balance between nature and management
However, it is vital that there is a balance between the natural regeneration
in the landscape and the infuence of grazing or clearing. There are several
examples in Germany where there have been too many grazers in an area,
or where there has been wrong animals, or where the clearing has been to
intensive – which in the end has caused severe damage to the historic cultural
The future of the oak is yet somewhat uncertain. But what is clear is that
it needs the jay for spreading, it needs time to grow and it needs grazers to
reduce competition from other trees. Therefore, it is necessary to create a new
protection goal – the semi open grazed oak landscape.
Picture 1: An old oak as a relic of historic land-use on Island of Vilm.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
How to combine nature conservation
values and recreation with oak pro-
duction and the importance of scale
Presented by Erik Ederlöf, Swedish Forest Agency, Sweden.
Oak is not one of the “ordinary” tree spe-
cies in Swedish forests – in many ways.
Partly because it unfortunately is not a
very common tree, but most of all be-
cause it has so many different faces. And
this characteristic opens up for different
options. It is a species that can grow in a
great variety of sites since it is more du-
rable than most other trees. And it grows
older than most species, which also may
be one explanation to why it can offer
home for more animals and plants than most other species. In addition, it is
a tree that is physically more stable than most other species and it can grow
together with many other trees.
A tree with many qualities
Oak trees have more subtle qualities that are fairly unusual among most
other species. It awakens interest in many people for different reasons, partly
because it has a symbolic value and can create a fee for history. It is a natural
playground for children (and adults) and creates a room for fantasy. But it is
also a tree that for long has had a very practical use in human culture. Oaks
can produce very valuable timber and they are popular for the production of
furniture and foors, since oak is both beautiful and durable, and – it has a
relatively stable market.
So, the oak is a species with many qualities. Likewise, the landowners
of today are often interested in multifunctional goals. Forest advisors often
underestimate the landowners’ interest in various issues. And of course, the
landowners’ primary interest is often timber production, but it is far from
their only goal. Their forests have such a wide range of various possible uses,
which has become more evident for the modern forest owners.
The forests are part of a larger landscape, physically, and of a long histo-
ry. So the forest practises of today can and should be seen in the light of this
– a different scale than the usual. Many times it gives new perspectives and
offer better ground for discussion, if the historical and landscape perspective
is presented for the landowners. This adds value to the ownership and makes
it more interesting to decide about different alternatives.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Eva – a new kind of landowner
One of these new forest owners is Eva. She is a typical example of a modern
landowner, having inherited her land and wanting to use the forest for many
different purposes. The yield from timber production is the main activity, but
she also wants to use the forest for hunting. As a teacher she wants to use it
for pedagogical aspects, to take her classes out for practical learning about
nature. She is also interested in keeping a wide diversity of plants in her fo-
In order to meet all these various interests, the best solution is many times
to divide the land into areas with different purposes. Grazing, for example,
is seldom an alternative for a whole forest, but can well be a smaller part of
a larger area. Some parts can be kept for social values, for recreation and
playing. Some areas can be solely for timber production while others are set
aside for conservation.
The key to a stable and nature conserving land-use practice is the goal of
multi-functionality. All aspects and values of the forest and the oak landscape
must be equally considered for a viable management plan.
Picture 1:
Oak tree as a natural playground for
Picture 2:
Eva is a new kind of landowner with
many goals for her forest.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Ecopark Omberg – Visions and
Presented by Per Petersson, Sveaskog, and
Tommy Ek, County Administrative Board
of Östergötland, Sweden
A new tool for preserving biodiversity and
for landscape planning is introduced by the
concept Ecopark. It is the state owned fo-
rest company Sveaskog that has decided to
set aside 20 percent of its productive forest
area for nature conservation and special
environmental consideration. An ecopark
is a large part of a landscape, at least 100
hectares, which has signifcant ecological
merits. Within these parks, Sveaskog has
decided to set aside at least half of the area
purely for conservation purposes. Current
plans are to establish 34 ecoparks, with
a total of 175 000 hectares. These parks
will be spread over the country, from
Snapphanen in the south of Sweden, to
Kiimavaara in the northern parts.
The first Ecopark in Sweden
Mount Omberg is Sveaskog’s frst ecopark. It was established in the spring
2003. It is situated on the banks of Lake Vättern and has a mosaic forest with
a very diverse and rich fora and fauna – it is actually one of the most species
rich areas in the country and hosts a large number of threatened species. The
slopes consist of a varied mix of old broad-leaved- and spruce forest while
the fat parts of the mountain is characterized by economic forestry. The
mountain has a long history of grazing and hosts a large number of ancient
When it was established as an ecopark, the biodiversity, cultural heritage
and forest structure was inventoried and Sveaskog together with County
board of Östergötland created a management plan for the area.
The history of Omberg goes far back. Old maps show a more open and
deciduous rich landscape. During the Stone Age there were rich broad-leaved
forest at Omberg and later on, when the climate became colder, both beech
and spruce increased in the area. During the Middle Ages there were several
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
settlings and farmland on Omberg, and in the 17
and 18
centuries the
landscape was more open than it is today.
These different data – the biodiversity, the cultural heritage and the forest
structure – together form the basis for the environmental management plan
for Ecopark Omberg. It includes a number of long-term goals that will help
to determine how the area will look like in the future:
• Old-growth broad leaved forest will increase from 15 to 45 percent
• Old-growth spruce forest will increase from 5 to 15 percent
• The number of ancient oaks will increase from 400 to 5 000
• The amount of forest for timber production will be reduced from
80 to 40 percent
Restoration of oak areas
One of the most important activities is to ensure that ancient oaks will survi-
ve at least a couple of hundred years more – enough to establish replacement
trees which can host the associated fora and fauna. The strategy is to clear
around old oaks and to create many new. Since many of the old oaks are in
close canopy forest, they have to be released from competing trees and bus-
hes in order to survive. The ancient
oaks are cleared in several steps; so
far around 80 giant oaks have been
released and in fve years there will
be 400 oaks freed from competi-
One area has been restored into
a semi-open grazed oak lands-
cape. The young oak stands have
been thinned, and about 30 of the
remaining 150 trees have been da-
maged in order to create scares and
hollows. Along the roads in the
park there are many oaks, with one
side towards an open environment
and the other towards trees and
bushes. These oaks are also cleared
to create a string of wide crowned
trees along the small roads.
Hopefully, this management
plan does not only create a long-
term sustainability for the forest,
but will also provide further
knowledge about sustainable
Picture 1: One of the main activities in the
Ecopark is to clear around old oaks and to
open up the closed forest, in order to facili-
tate oak regeneration and survival.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The work with oaks in the munici-
pality of Norrköping and a first ap-
proach of landscape-planning for
the oak
Presented by Eva Siljeholm and Kaj
Almquist, Municipality of Norrköping,
There are many valuable oak sites with
a large number of ancient oaks in the
municipality of Norrköping. In two dif-
ferent projects, one on the island Händelö
and one in Bråvik, the municipality of
Norrköping has managed to protect and
restore these sites. They are two quite dif-
ferent sites; the one on Händelö is heavily
exploited by industry and owned by the
municipality. The other site, in Bråvik, is
situated in a rural environment with seve-
ral landowners involved.
Before the projects started there were
some questions the ecologists needed
answers to:
• What do organisms associated
with the oak need to survive in the long term?
• How many hollow trees in different stages are needed for the species
to colonise and survive?
• How many younger trees are required to create enough hollow trees
in the future?
• What is the maximum distance between the oaks that still allows for
the species to disperse?
• What things act as a barrier for the species?
• If dispersal corridors are required – how should they be designed?
Oak restoration on Händelö
In an area of 40 hectares on Händelö there are 170 hollow oaks, which is
enough for the long-term survival of oak associated organisms – if they are
situated within dispersal distance of one another. On Händelö, however, they
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
are too isolated. Maximum distance between them should be less than 200
meters and areas further apart from one another must be bridged.
The problem with fragmentation became even more urgent when the mu-
nicipality of Norrköping decided to plan for more exploitation in Händelö.
Hence, the landscape planning for restoration and management of the oak si-
tes in that area competed with the plans for further exploitation. In the harsh
reality, the oaks lost the battle – but not completely. There have been some
compromises between plans for development and exploitation and manage-
ment of oaks. At least it can be seen as a step in the right direction. In a total
area of two hectares, there are now 150 new oaks planted and 700 shrubs for
protection, and even more will be planted. Some gaps between the different
sites are bridged and there are several new regeneration areas.
Cooperation with landowners in Bråvik
The other area, Bråvik, is a little over 2 000 hectares and there are several
landowners involved, of which only a few own a larger area. The project con-
cerns fve different areas, of which Bråborg is one.
Bråborg includes two nature reserves, and there is only one landowner.
In the area, there are approximately 140 hollow oaks and the total core area
is 64 hectares. The focus of this still ongoing project is to inspire and advice
landowners in order to conserve the values associated with oak.
Knowledge from various surveys was compiled onto digital maps using
GIS. On feld visits, the different landowners have been informed about the
ecological values of the oak sites, how to manage the core site and if there are
any generation gaps in the oak population. The landowner has also been of-
fered help with restoration, and there have been some discussions about how
to create connections between different sites.
The sum of all information, together with existing knowledge about corri-
dors, barriers and buffer zones, now form the basis for the suggested manage-
ment plan, which includes practices like nursing of shrubs, edge management,
construction of corridors and avenues, stepping stones for dispersal and a
forest management that favours oak trees.
Picture 1: Händelö, a heavily exploited urban landscape
Picture 2: North of Vikbolandet, a rural landscape
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
”The action plan for Osmoderma
eremita and other oak living beet-
les” and ”The action plan for trees
with high conservation values”
Presented by Kjell Antonsson, County
Administrative Board of Östergötland, and
Olle Höjer Swedish Environmental Protection
Agency, Sweden.
The Osmoderma eremita is a somewhat
magical species. Not only does it prevent
motorway constructions in France, but it
also has the world’s highest salary – for
beetles at least. Not less than 3,6 million
euro in fve years. All because of its rarity.
It is protected in several countries, and a
priority species on the habitat directive list,
but not yet on the border to extinction.
And, it is a very good indicator of sites
with a high biodiversity. There can be up to
200 threatened species in the same habitat
as the hermit beetle, so for the protection
of high biodiversity it is very effcient to
focus on these sites.
The life of an O. eremita goes on for a
couple of years. It takes three years for the
egg to develop into an adult. It lives in hol-
low trees, often in oaks. The larvae eat the rotten wood inside the tree and the
adults are observed in July until August. They smell a bit like plum or leather.
Conserving habitats for Hermit beetle
The distribution of the beetle in Sweden coincides with the distribution of
oak habitats.
Between 1998 and 2002 there was a large O. eremita project in the south of
Sweden. 45 sites (and seven more added sites) were cleared and fenced to allow
grazing in the future. There were also information signs, brochures and seminars
to spread information about the project. The different county administrative
boards carried out most of the work. The sites were spread from the southern
parts of Sweden up to the north near Stockholm, with a higher concentration in
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
the southeast part of Sweden, which refects the distribution of the O. eremita.
In total, SEK 33 million (equals EUR 3,6 million) have been spent on the
project. Of the 52 sites, 45 are now protected, while others are either ongoing
in protection or have been protected in some other way. The new updated
action plan is more ambitious – all sites with O. eremita should be included
in it, and also some future areas nearby. The goal is to reach 5 000 hectares
before 2015.
Saving the old oaks – an international responsability
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has established an action plan
for trees with a high conservation value within the cultural landscape. These
trees are a key to conservation of threatened species, as well as our environ-
ment and cultural heritage. A successful strategy for biodiversity demands a
holistic approach. The actionplan specify:
• What to do, how to do it and why?
• Which are the stakeholders?
• How much and when?
• Which are the prioritizations and objectives
• Form an input to conservation – information and educational strategies
The targets of this action plan are giant trees, ancient and large hollow
trees. High priority is given to giant oaks, churchyards, avenues, farm en-
vironments, pollarded trees and parks. Due to the fact that trees with high
conservation values often are found in the transitional zone between forest
and agricultural landscape, within urban areas and by roadsides, there is a
substantial need for co-operation between different stakeholders (for example
land owners, scientists, authorities and non governmental organisations). The
action plan involves a number of suitable
tools, like advice, consultation and infor-
mation, site protection, environmental
subsidies etc. An example of an important
objective is that at least 80 percent of all
giant oaks within protected areas should
have favourable conservation status by
2014 in every county. This means that
there should be a lack of competition for
light, the oaks should be free from physi-
cal damage, be vital and there should also
be adequate oak regeneration.
Picture1: The actionplan aims at protecting old
trees, and trees with high conservation values.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Differences in perspective between
England and Sweden when mana-
ging oak habitats – what are the
Presented by Vikki Forbes, Pro Natura,
Oaks in England and in Sweden appear to
have different growth patterns. The ques-
tion is if this is due to genetic variations or
to differences in historical management. A
closer look reveals differences in historical
context as well as current management and
focus between the countries.
In England oaks tend to grow in wood
pastures, hedgerows, on roadsides, in parks, gardens and churches and along
avenues. They were revered by the common man and therefore often protec-
ted and they were pollarded and coppiced as well as left to be open grown.
In Sweden the oaks are found in wooded pastures and meadows, along
roads and in parks, gardens and churches. They were hated by the com-
mon man, and owned by the crown. They were rarely pollarded. The lower
branches were often removed to allow more light to the ground to increase
vegetation growth for the animals, infuencing the form of the ancient trees
and their stability.
Different management and perspectives
Another difference is that there are larger populations of old oaks in England
than in Sweden. In England they tend to grow on fertilized pastures, and in
Sweden the oaks are mostly in oak pastures and in unimproved pastures. In
England, overgrazing is a serious problem, whereas in Sweden the problem is
quite the opposite – lack of grazing. In both countries there is a problem with
wrong grazing animals, for example horses.
In Sweden today, there has been much focus on the species associated
with the old trees rather than the tree itself. Any management work takes ac-
count of these species requirements. The understanding of the ecology of the
species associated with old trees is better than the understanding of the old
tree’s relationship with its environment.
In England as well there has been a lot of focus on species associated with
old trees, which has provided a useful tool to understand the importance of
the different sites across the country. However, in more recent years, focus
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
has shifted towards understanding more clearly the relationship between the
old tree and its environment. This is mostly due to the establishment of the
Ancient Tree Forum, inspired by Ted Green, and has brought together ecolo-
gists, foresters and arborists.
Surveying and protection
There are also some differences, as well as similarities, regarding management
and surveying. England has learnt the hard way about dramatic clearance.
The cooperation between arborists and ecologists has led to much better ma-
nagement in England today, compared to what it used to be. In both England
and in Sweden there are generation gaps to fll, and different techniques for
early veteranisation of younger trees or dead wood creation.
In Sweden, old trees have been regarded a priority habitat, which is not
the fact in England. Perhaps one problem is that there are so many ancient
trees in England – there has been a tendency to take this particular resource
for granted. Dead or dying trees are looked upon as a possible hazard and is
often taken away, whereas they are protected in Sweden.
There is a better understanding of the existing populations of oaks in
Sweden, although there are some detailed surveys in England as well. These
have produced individual tree management plans. A national survey to map
all the ancient trees in
England is now under-
way. However, the ancient
trees are higher up on the
agenda in Sweden than
in England, and this is
refected in the different
protection mechanisms.
Both countries have
a lot to gain on more
cooperation. The differen-
ces between the manage-
ment of oak habitats are
something that can help
both England and Sweden
forward, by learning from
one another.
Picture 1: Differences in perspective. In England, there is
more of a landscape approach, while in Sweden there is more
focus on associated species.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
The revival of the oak landscape
through multi purpose manage-
ment and presentation of a mana-
gement handbook
Presented by Claes Svedlindh, County
Administrative Board of Östergötland,
Some of the best oak landscapes in
the south of Sweden are situated in
Östergötland. They are the result of histori-
cal land use practices. The oak habitats are
mainly found in wooded pastures and on
old haymaking areas. Since there has been
so much focus and many studies on these
oak habitats it is now known that:
• There are 18 000 hectares oak-dominated cores of high value
• There are 25 000 large or hollow oaks
• It contains 14 high-value tracts for oak habitats
• There is a very high biodiversity
• It holds high cultural and recreational values
The uniqueness and the beauty of the landscape are well known. Unfor-
tunately there are also some problems and threats against these areas, like
ongoing overgrowth of single oak trees and habitats and problems with frag-
mentation, which decreases the ecological function of the areas. The situation
for legal protection is locked, and there is only a week interests for oak-fo-
restry. And of course – there are conficts around planning issues.
Multi purpose management
With so many interests to take into consideration, and some of them confic-
ting, there is a need for a multi-purpose management, a new tool for a living
oak landscape. The county of Östergötland is now a pilot county for evolving
a landscape strategy that will be in co-operation with landowners, authorities
and stakeholders. It aims at giving a sense of pride in the region, pride for the
beautiful oak landscape.
In a multi purpose management plan, all the various interests have to be
considered. The landowners’ primary interest is often timber production. There
are historical remains that need to be regarded, as well as recreational- and
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
biological values. There are certainly ways to develop a forestry with more
concern to biodiversity, to aesthetic values and all other interests. However, it is
best done in cooperation with the landowners to get the best result possible.
Cooperation with landowners
Special focus in this management plan will be on those landowners that show
real interest in developing their forestry and landscape for multiple purposes.
There is a lot of knowledge about sustainable forestry, landscape planning
and nature conservation. That knowledge can be practiced together with lan-
downers and other stakeholders.
There is also a need to develop the grazing and haymaking in these areas,
to reveal the historical landscape. The historical and cultural values must
also be a part of a multi-functional management plan, as well as the need for
recreation areas. Haymaking and a small-scale timber production, as well as
grazing, are perfect tools in this work.
In this work, the landowners and the users are in the centre. This is neces-
sary to obtain good results. A common understanding looked for, regarding the
management of each property. The priority will be on the high value tracts. There
will also be a part with information, both for the public and for the landowners.
Picture 1: Handbook for the
management of oak habitats.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Tinnerö – working in a large mosaic
landscape with oaks, culture his-
tory and landscape planning
By Anders Jörneskog, Municipality of
Linköping, and Olle Hörfors, The Regional
Museum of the County of Östergötland,
Tinnerö is a nature reserve situated just
outside Linköping. It is an oak landscape
with a long history. There is evidence of
farming since at least 1500 BC. Even be-
fore that, during the Stone Age, there were
hunters and gatherers there. During the
Stone Age the local population was fve
times higher than during modern times but
it was not until the Bronze Age that they
started to reshape the landscape. It was a
time of expansion – cattle gave status and
wealth together with the products from
Early farming practices
The landscape was divided into three dif-
ferent parts, depending on the purpose and
what it was suited for. In the lowland areas, haymaking was the most common
practice. The sandy soil was suited for farming and the rocky areas for grazing.
There are still remains of stonewalls that kept the grazing animals from the
cultivated area. There are also some felds left from the Stone Age and from the
Viking era, Celtic felds, and ancient basin shaped felds, eight to ten meters large.
There are also at least 100 graves and a lot of erected stones left in the area.
After the Iron Age and early Middle Age the church bought the land close
to the city. In the beginning of the 17
century the King expropriated the land
and made it a large haymaking area for the castle in Linköping and also used
it for hunting. A small village was removed from the area at that time. From
about 1910 to 1996 it was owned by the military, as a training ground. The
fact that the area was owned and used by the military has saved it from ex-
ploitation. Because of that, and the fact that the King used it for hunting and
haymaking, the area has been conserved through the years and it is therefore
not exploited today.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Project for restoring the oak landscape
The municipality of Linköping bought the area from the military, and has
now made a land use plan for fve years for this area. As part of the plan,
the local government decided that half of the area, 690 hectares, should be a
nature reserve. The purpose of the reserve is to restore and manage the oak
landscape with pastures and meadows and to visualize the ancient remains,
especially those from the Iron Age. Another purpose of the area is to create
an area for recreation close to the city.
The restoration and management plan includes:
• Clearing of overgrown pastures, meadows and old trees
• Reintroduction of grazing with cattle, horses and sheep
• Reintroduction of traditional haymaking on cultivated meadows, for
increased fora diversity and also to favour birds like corncrake and quail
• To clear young spruce plantations and to replant them with oak
• To manage and restore wooded and open wetlands
There will also be a lot of effort on the information and access to the
area. Walking tracks, information signs, folders, guided tours and local non-
governmental organisation activities.
The goals for the Tinnerö program is to create a grazed oak dominated
mosaic landscape, and to increase the amount of old trees and dead wood
to enhance biodiversity in the area. But also to have grazed conifer forests, a
well developed shrubbery of hazel, hawthorn, sloe and dog rose and a diverse
grassland – grazed or for haymaking.
Picture 1: Anders Jörneskog shows one of the oak sites in Tinnerö.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Brokind – artificial nests for wood
mould insects and oak regenera-
tion in wooded pastures
Presented by Nicklas Jansson, Karl-Olof
Bergman and Karin Bornefall, Linköping
University, Sweden and Ted Green, England.
Brokind nature reserve harbours one of the
most beautiful and species diverse oak pas-
tures in the County of Östergötland. Just
below runs a river through the landscape
and there is also an old castle and a school
on the property. The total area is 33 hecta-
res and it has a long history of grazing and
haymaking. It is an ideal spot for research
about oak trees, regeneration and species
associated to the tree.
Oak regeneration in wooded pastures
The regeneration of young oaks in the
oak district, and the effect of grazing, light
and thorny shrubs were recently studied.
Several plots with different kinds of cha-
racteristics were used:
• Five grazed wood pastures to study
• Six former pastures with good light
• Three deciduous forest reserves to
study the effect of no grazing or
other management
To map the age distribution of oaks in the
different plots, the diameter of 750 oaks
was measured. The results showed that
there was a clear dip in the distribution of oaks with a diameter between 10
and 40 centimetres. The most common size was oaks with 50-60 centimetres
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
in diameter. For a steady state age distribution, there should be most oaks in
the lowest age classes, which is obviously not the case in this area.
Overall, there seem to be substantially more regeneration of oak in grazed
areas with thorny shrubs. In those areas, the oaks grow 85 times denser than
in the whole areas of ungrazed plots. There was no obvious difference bet-
ween the oak regeneration in small or large shrubs. However, there may be
an advantage for larger oak saplings in large shrubs since they will have a
better protection from grazing.
Artificial nests for wood mould insects
Another survey that has been made in the area is an inventory of oak as-
sociated beetles. 50 traps for wood mould insects, developed for this study,
was placed in suitable trees. The trap is a box, flled with hay, oak leaves and
sawdust, placed on the outside of a tree. It also had a layer of mud in it, to
keep it from drying out, and a substance to preserve the beetles that entered
the box.
During a period of two years, at least 40 species of beetles were found in
the box. Of these, eight to ten species are on the red list. The main objectives
of this work are to analyse the distribution patterns of different oak asso-
ciated species, and to examine whether wood mould insects uses these traps
as nests. If that is so, then the artifcial nests can be used in the work for the
preservation of rare or endangered species.
Oak associated fungi
And wherever there is an oak, there are also fungi. They are a fundamental
part of a site’s ecological stability, in particular by recycling dead organic ma-
terial. Some species of fungi also provide a fundamental medium for a large
number of insects, including many rare and threatened species. So, instead
of regarding fungus as an infection that is bad for the tree, it is vital to un-
derstand the relationship between oak, fungi and oak-associated insects.
Picture 1: Karin Bornefall and Karl-Olof Bergman in the study-site in Brokind oak-
Picture 2: Liocola marmorata
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Adelsnäs – restoration in oak habi-
Presented by Gustaf Adelswärd, Adelsnäs,
Johan Adelswärd, Adelsnäs, and Tommy Ek
County administrative board of Östergötland,
Adelsnäs is the largest property in the
county, and the family Adelswärd has
owned it since the 17
century, for ten
generations. In the early 1900s, the for-
mer barony Adelswärd started a cupper
mining – Åtvidaberg industrier AB – and
also a production of furniture made out
of oak wood, mainly imported from
Poland. Today, the main activities are fo-
restry, farming, hunting and fshing. There
is also a sawmill and a golf course on the
Throughout the years, there have been
some changes. A new main building was
fnished in 1920, and in 1963 several trees
were taken down in order to open up the
park around the house. In 1860, a crystal
palace was built for cultivation of exotic
fruits. It was renovated in 1993 and is
now used as a gallery for art exhibitions
during the summer.
There are a lot of deer in the area, but they are to some extent driven
away by cattle. Some elks and wild pigs also live on the property, even
though they are less than they used to be. Around 800 animals are shot each
year on the property.
Restoration of a large mosaic pasture
The landscape used to be more grazed than it is today. It has become more
overgrown with birch and aspen, and the oaks have not successfully regene-
rated because of the competition with more shade tolerant species. There are
some magnifcent oaks on the property, but they are of quite old age.
In cooperation with the County Administrative Board of Östergötland,
the landowners have recently started a conservation program for preserving
the oak landscape on Adelsnäs. They have now cleared overgrown areas,
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
leaving oak and hazel to grow more successfully. Some rocky areas with
aspen are also left without too much clearing – the idea is to create a mosaic
landscape. The sites are Woodland Key Habitats and the clearance was done
purely to beneft nature conservation.
A sustainable project
A total of 70 hectares are now used as single grazing areas. There are almost
no thorny shrubs in the area, which may complicate the regeneration of oaks
when they let the animals graze the area.
Long-term solutions for the land use on Adelsnäs have to take both
the ecologic- and the economic matters into consideration. There has to be
concern over biological and natural values as well as over the yield from the
forestry and farming. And the fact is that the restoration project is already
fnancially viable. Clearing of the overgrown areas has resulted in a proft of
around SEK 450 000, after the costs for labour is withdrawn.
Restoration is a partnership between the landowner and the nature con-
servation advisors.
The future management on Adelsnäs is vital to the values in this oak
landscape, not only for conservation of biodiversity, but also for recreational
Picture 1: Johan Adelswärd shows one of the cleared sites in Adelsnäs.
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Excursions to Norrköping oak
landscapes – Händelö, Ingelstad
and Bråborg
Presented by Kaj Almqvist, Municipality of Norrköping, Eva Siljeholm,
Municipality of Norrköping, Thomas Appelkvist, Pro Natura, Sweden, and
Björn-Erik Holm, Swedish Forest Agency, Sweden.,, bjorn-erik.,,
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
Händelö is an island, and an industrial area, situated in the outermost areas
of Norrköping. The island is surrounded by Motala ström, Lindökanalen and
Bråviken. It has a quite heavy industry, with harbours, warehouses, chemical
industries and a power plant. It also has some oak habitats – of which all are
Natura-2000 areas.
In summary, there are not only heavy industry, and there are not only
oaks, but a mixture. The island also possess a population of Hermit beetle
and 25 more species that are on the national red list for threatened species.
This makes Händelö one of the most exclusive areas in Östergötland, when it
comes to insect fauna. Of the totally 60 surveyed areas in the best oak envi-
ronments in Östergötland, Händelö is placed fourth regarding species diver-
In the year 2002, the work with a more extensive overview commenced.
It is a document about how the municipality is going to develop during the
upcoming years – what kind of exploitation is to take place and which areas
should be spared. Already in an early phase of the work with the plan, the
ecologists from the municipality and the County Administrative Board star-
ted to work with how to try and save these unique oak environments. The
challenge was to call attention to the oaks in between and in the middle of all
heavy industry and roads.
There was not a complete success, but it was not either a complete loss.
Some areas were actually set of for oak plantations and oak regeneration,
while some others – despite having high natural values – are now going to be
exploited. One experience drawn from this example is that it is vital to show
the authorities the high natural values practically. Only if they have smelt
it, seen it, heard it and felt it, they will really understand the value of these
One of the politicians in the municipality fought hard for the oaks. She
managed to increase the area set aside for oak plantations to the 60 hectares
that exists today – the area that Karl Olof Bergman, from Linköping Uni-
versity, believes is a minimum area for a self-supporting oak area. With her
struggle she succeeded in increasing the area with fourteen percent.
It was fve years since the frst oak plantations started on one of the felds.
They are nursed by thorny shrubs and have now reached the height of two
meters. Beside the oaks, there are also hawthorn, sloe and dog rose newly
planted as a protection for the oak seedlings and oak sapling.
Just in the middle of Ingelstad activity area, there is an extremely valuable
and species rich oak pasture. It is a Natura-2000 area and also protected
as a natural reserve. The ecologists in the municipality have worked hard
with the management and land use practices in the area during several years.
They have also had a clear focus on the natural areas close to the city centre
and highly populated areas. Oak landscapes tend to have a special place in
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
people’s minds and it is therefore quite easy to awaken further interest for
these areas.
One example is the really popular beetle-safaris that the municipality
invite the inhabitants to. Once, there were more than 200 participants in one
day, on two safaris.
Picture 2: Excursion to Händelö, where Kjell Antonsson is giving a lecture.
Picture 1: A closer look at the oak-tree…
Picture 3: Thomas Appelkvist
Pr oceedi ngs f r om a conf er ence i n Li nköpi ng, Sweden, 9–11 May 2006
But the area does not only have a social- or recreational value. There is
also the natural value. In an inventory carried out last summer, a number of
red listed wood inhabiting insects were found. Ingelstad is one of the most
species diverse environments in the county, as is also Händelö. These two are
among the top ten in the country regarding species richness. There are a lot
of traces after these insects, for instance body parts from the Hermit beetle,
as well as cocoons and excrements.
The oak pasture was cleared in the beginning of the 1990s and is grazed
by sheep today. It was overgrown before, and had been so for a number of
years. The clearing was done with cautiousness, and the bushes that were
there were left in the frst clearing. After seven years the area was thinned
out even more, and now the time is right for a complete clearing around the
old oak trees. The area has a really beautiful mosaic character, even though
the old oaks are a little bit to near one another. The area is ten hectares, and
there are more than 150 old hollow oaks. Even though there are quite a lot
of trees, and they are fairly close to each other, there are some really nice gaps
in the landscape.
Bråborg is situated 15 kilometres east of Norrköping, just beside Bråviken, a
bay in the Baltic Sea. It is a part of Svensksundsvikens nature reserve. There
are approximately 140 hollow oaks in the area and the total core area is 64
In an ongoing project, the municipality of Norrköping restores the oak
landscape, in order to create a mosaic landscape. There are some oak planta-
tions, sheltered by different kinds of shrubs. There are plans for a new lands-
cape management in the area, which includes practices like nursing of shrubs,
edge management, construction of corridors and avenues, stepping stones for
dispersal and a forest management that favours oak trees.
Picture 4: Björn-Erik Holm in Bråborg.
The 0ak
HísLorv, Ecoíocv,
and Píannínc
An inreinarional coníeience uealing virl oaks anu oak
lanuscaµes vas lelu 9-11
oí Nay 2006 in Linkoµing.
Sveuen. 1le aim virl rle coníeience vas ro summaiize
rle knovleuge aLour lisroiy. ecology anu managemenr
oí oak enviionmenrs anu ro acr as a µlaríoim íoi uiscus-
sions Lerveen ieseaicleis anu µiacririoneis in Sveuen
anu noirlein Luioµe.
1lis ieµoir summaiises rle µioceeuings íiom rle
coníeience. All lecruies aie µiesenreu on rvo µages
eacl anu rle excuisions aie uesciiLeu in rle enu oí rle
ieµoir. In an arracleu CD you vill nnu rle µiogiamme.
µairiciµanr lisr. µovei µoinr µiesenrarions anu many
µlorogiaµls íiom rle coníeience.
ISBN 9T-620-56T7-4
ISSN 0282-7298
Proceeedings from a Conference
in Linköping, Sweden, 9-11 May 2006