Img-ECTF-PolDendro  Img-Warsaw-221x145  Img-Bialowiesa-221x145  Img-Bialowieza-Pdf  Polish Dendrology Society          Warsaw Trees Photos            Białowieża Forest Photos          Bialowieza Notes .pdf

European Champion Tree Forum 3rd meeting Bialowieza, Poland, 14th to 16th June 2013

Piotr Krasinksi (Polish Dendrology Society) & ECTF Secretary Gordon MacKenthun had organised the entire trip.
The visit  went very smoothly and old friends were re-united. Thank you so much both.

Here are sections of the Report and Minutes (edited by Gordon Mackenthun)...

Following the successful meetings of European big tree enthusiasts in Wespelaar, Belgium in 2010 and in Bonn, Germany in 2011 Polish friends offered to host a third meeting in Bialowieza. The village is just on the edge of the Bialowieza National Park, one of the last natural forests in Central Europe. It is in the easternmost parts of Poland close to the border with Belarus. See the Bialowieza Notes .pdf above.

The group gathered in Warsaw and set off to Bialowieza in the afternoon by rented coach. Traffic was heavy and it took a while to leave the city behind. The eastern Polish landscape was just beautiful in the setting sun and the further we went the more "Russian" elements  appeared – like colourful wooden houses...

The accomadation was lovely, as was the Polish food and then...the Vodka! day it was then on with the talks.
Img-PolTalksGordon  Img-PolTalksMarc  Img-ECTFPolAndreas  Img-ECTFPolGyorgyGordon's introduction DDG >
    Marc opens >        Andreas German Trees           Gyorgy >

Next up were...
Img-ECTFTalksKrystopf  Img-PolTalksSusana   
Kryzyszof  Dendro Poland >   Susanna Bosques sin Fronteras >        

After Susanas excellent talk it was off out into the Bialowiesa Forest...from Gordons informative report...

The session was closed and everybody got prepared for a long walk in the woods. Under the expert guidance of Artur "Arek" Szymura we had a good six hours hike through the National  Park seeing nature getting its way as it should: 
There is a large variety of tree species  (dominated by oak, ash, hornbeam, pine), they come in all shapes and sizes, dying trees are left alone to be colonised by fungi and lichens, toppled trunks are just moved from the trails only. 

The Bialowieza forest is not a virgin forest, it was managed for centuries for timber  production and as a hunting ground. But when it became a National Park in 1923 all management was stopped and 90 years of nature's regime turned the forest into woodland as natural as you can get in Central Europe. Trees within the National Park tend to be rather tall then big (by girth) with spruces easily reaching 50 m.
VIEW PHOTOS >   or view Bialowieza Notes READ MORE >


Later it was on to the next round of Talks...
Img-ECTFTalks-PiotrGach  Img-PolTalks-Rob  Img-PolTalks-Lubos  Img-ECTFTalks-Hana Piotr Gach Polish Dendro >        Rob Shropshire Trees >                Lubos Czech Trees >          Hana European Tree of Year >

Saving the best 'til last, it was the turn of  César-Javier, Bernabé and José of the Fundación Félix Rodriguez de la Fuente,

                                                                                                César introduces us to the
                                                                                       Fundación Félix Rodriguez de la Fuente >
                                                                                                            BigTrees4Life >
From Gordon's Report...
There is a wide range of activities covered by the foundation, ranging from organic food to fire fighting. "BigTrees4Life" is a project which deals with monumental trees. It aims at improving the conservation of big trees and mature forests which are seen as umbrellas under which other organisms like fungi, lichens, insects and mammals can live. 

Then José continues, pointing out how important good legal advice is for the protection of trees. He ends showing us the wide array of books the foundation has published on a number of various issues. 

Another session was conducted and there was much lively discussion on various subjects.

From Gordon's Report...

The next ECTF meeting will be held in Spain, most likely in Valsaín near Segovia >, in the autumn of 2014. It will be again a three day venture, Friday to Sunday, probably 17th to 19th 10th 11th 12th October. Susana volunteers to organise the meeting with the help of some of her Spanish colleagues plus the ECTF Secretary and some other members.

The session ends with a huge applause for Piotr (Krasinski) for his exceptional organisational skills and his contagious good humour. 

                                            Img-Piotr2  Img-Piotr1  Img-Piotr-Hospitality

                        Thank you Piotr from everyone for all of your hard work and great organisation...and for our hangovers!

On the way back to Warsaw we are introduced to a giant pine by Krzysztof. But then it is time go. Warsaw is reached by mid-afternoon giving everybody good time to travel on or to enjoy the pleasant summer evening. Some of us go to Rogów Arboretum the next day, Monday, and after that the 3rd ECTF meeting in Poland is finally closed.