This summer is the Grinch that stole Christmas

Not only has the warm weather killed millions of newly-planted trees, it is causing untold losses for the timber industry

With the latest weather forecasts promising little to no rain over the next week, and temperatures expected to range from 24 to 27 degrees, there is no end in sight for the current drought afflicting Denmark – unless that end is Christmas in approximately seven years’ time.

Bornholm Xmas tree grower writes off 2018
Or more specifically, the end of this year’s batch of Christmas trees, as around 2.5 million trees planted in the spring are encountering extreme difficulty, according to the industry association Danske Juletræer.

It estimates that its producers will lose around 12 million kroner due to the drought, and DR reported how one grower in Bornholm is on the verge of giving up on 2018 altogether.

Timber industry to lose out the most
Elsewhere, 5 million newly-planted trees (in the spring and last autumn) – more than half of the additions to the nation’s private and state-owned forests – look set to perish at a cost of between 20 and 40 million kroner.

According to Jan Søndergaard, the head of forestry association Dansk Skovforening, the trees will dry out as their root networks have not been able to grow normally.

And the forest’s established trees will see a slowdown in their growth, thus hitting the timber industry for years to come – an overall cost of between 60 and 100 million kroner.

Multiple breaches of incineration ban, report police
Meanwhile, the dryness of the nation’s forests and vegetation is leaving it vulnerable to wildfires, and the general public are not helping matters by not adhering to bans on open fires, barbecues and certain gardening methods (such as weed burner), report the police.

Southeast Jutland Police has already dealt with eight breaches – a tally matched by Copenhagen Police and Central and West Zealand Police. In total, DR has established that 35 breaches have been recently detected by eight of the nation’s 12 police forces.

Nature on fire this summer
Since May 1, firefighters have responded to 808 calls relating to fires in the Danish nature – well above the 375 average recorded between 2013 and 2017 – of which 90 percent were genuine incidents needing their attention.

On Monday July 2, there were 38 fires in nature – the highest number so far this year.

The authorities are also particularly keen to caution smokers about the danger of extinguishing their cigarettes in nature.