Who wouldn’t be shocked to come face to face with a giant? Many have felt like this while walking through the spruce forest in the Schlüchtsee nature preservation area by Grafenhausen, where you suddenly find yourself flanked by massive fir trees.
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The path’s name, “Hochtannenweg” (high fir tree path), is very fitting. The most imposing tree is the “Danieltanne” (Daniel’s fir tree). It is roughly 50 m high, allegedly around 400 years old, and – with a girth of five metres – it is the thickest fir tree in the Southern Black Forest. The depths of the spruce forest are becoming nature preservation sites, mainly due to previous forestry management. Much of the landscape was used as grazing ground until the end of the 18th century. Aside from a few individual trees left as shelter, these fields were thus deforested. The spruce afforestation that followed led to an ingrowth of fir trees over the years, resulting in the trees now growing predominantly in the heart of the forest.