The Museum Forest on the Ehscheid Mountain
Although there are always individual trees of the same age in the Palatinate Forest, a closed pine stand consisting of about 180 trees can only be found here, in the forest section "Klein Ehscheid". This is not only unique for the Palatinate Forest, in all probability there is no comparable pine stand in the whole of Germany.
When looking at the annual rings on a log, the growth conditions can be traced back to the "year of birth" of a tree. Wide annual rings and thick branch attachments in the centre indicate that the trees had a large standing space during the first decades. Since forests were rarely established by seeding in those days, it can be assumed that the museum stand was created naturally, i.e. by seed fall. As a result of exploitation and over-exploitation - the principle of sustainability was still unknown at that time - only a few old trees probably stood on a large lightened area and provided for new growth with their cones.
After the Second World War, the fate of the museum's stock was almost sealed. By order of the French occupying power, all pine stands ready for harvesting were to be recorded and earmarked for felling. This meant that the museum pines would also have had to be reported. However, Scholl, who was working in the Appenthal district at the time, forgot about the stand (on purpose??). In doing so, he almost risked his life. The stand remained forgotten until the end of the occupation, then - shortly before the withdrawal - the French commander found out about it. But he forgave the Elmstein foresters; he was a forester himself.
Even today, there is no economic use of the pines; only the mixed beech trees are maintained.
The strongest pines have a circumference of three metres - measured at breast height - while their height is only 25 to 30 metres. But it is precisely because the trees have not grown so tall that they appear so massive and majestic to the observer. It is also noticeable that almost all the trees are not standing bolt upright, but lean considerably towards the east. This is probably a consequence of the constant struggle with the prevailing westerly winds in our region and gives rise to the suspicion that at some point in the distant future the time of these giants will also be over.