The forest on Schiermonnikoog
The forest of National Park Schiermonnikoog exists of planted pine trees and naturally developed deciduous forest. The last private owners of the island, the Von Bernstorff family, had the pine tree forest planted for the wood industry. Because of the extreme circumstances and the elements the forest is exposed to the trees grew very slowly, this led to the maintenance of the forest being discontinued. Nowadays small maintenance jobs are being undertaken in the pine forest during the winter period.
The strong and salty sea wind has a destructive effect, especially the edges of the perimeter of the forest. The trees on the edges of the forest on the Westside appear bold and on the Eastside they appear bend. Pine tress in the dune valleys have the problem that they are blown over easily by the wind, this is because they have very short roots, only just long enough to reach the water in the ground.
In the lee of the planted forest a deciduous forest full of birch trees has naturally developed , also known as a spontaneous forest.
From a high viewing point nearby it is clear to see that this spontaneous forest is extending itself in an easterly direction. When you continue to look east from that point you can see the Kwelder (Salt Marshes). This is an extraordinary part of the islands nature; this part of the island is constantly changing and developing itself due to the influence of the wind and the sea.