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March 25, 2019

80 beech trees for the future

Bright sunshine, motivated employees and 80 beech tree seedlings: This time the weather gods are kind to Hubert Stäblein and the 19 employees from Solid Wood Production (Massivholzfertigung), after the original date at the start of March was, quite literally, blown away. This meant that the Heldritt/Gelnhausen Forest Corporation, which won a prize draw at the first Solid Wood Day held by the HABA Family of Companies last year, needed to have a little patience before the 80 beech tree seedlings found their way to the forest floor. “They were very happy, and quickly found a good place to plant them”, says Solid Wood Production Manager Hubert Stäblein.

At the meeting point, there is first a short introduction by forest owner Ruprecht von Butler, Dietrich Schmidt, Director of the Heldritt/Gelnhausen Forest Corporation, and Gunter Sauerbrey, self-employed forest worker. Hubert Stäblein takes the opportunity to explain why beech trees are so important to the company’s production: “In the Solid Wood Division, 90 percent of the wood used is European beech. It is a local hardwood, and can be processed well.”

After a short walk, the beech trees are planted in the designated spot. Gunter Sauerbrey explains how a perfect hole is dug. “The first spade cut should be vertical, the second a little slanted to the same depth. Then the plant is placed with the root down, at the bottom of the vertical cut. That is a good quality planting job.”

And Hubert Stäblein adds: “The perfect time to plant beech trees is usually at the start of fall, from around October, so that the seedlings have time to grow some roots before winter. But because last year was so dry, this time it was actually better to plant the seedlings in spring.

“We want to leave the next generation a healthy natural environment.”

The Habermaass family also pitches in, and, as it should be in a family-owned company, the work is divided up equally: Heike Habermaass uses a shovel to dig the hole, her nephew Jakob places the seedling, and Sabine Habermaass tramples down the filled-in soil.

“As the HABA Family of Companies, but also personally, it’s important to us that we are mindful of nature and natural resources”, explains Sabine Habermaass. Heike Habermaass agrees: “It’s not only preservation and conservation that are important, but also creation of a good basis for our children, grandchildren and future generations. We want to leave them a healthy natural environment.”

“We should come past in a few years and see what’s become of the beech tree seedlings. But I wonder if we’ll find them?” wonders Sabine Habermaass. Dietrich Schmidt promises: “We’ll take a picture every year, to document how fast they grow.” Then he once again says thank you:  “This is a great and very symbolic campaign!”

Once all 80 seedlings were planted, Hubert Stäblein stands at the grill, and rewards all the helpers with a bratwurst and a refreshing drink to let them enjoy the sunny spring afternoon. In the final group photo the smile command is, as you might expect: Beech tree!

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