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Competence Network Climate Change, Risk Management and Transformation in Forest Ecosystems

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Forest Research Institut Baden-Württemberg (FVA)
Department of forest economics

Wonnhaldestr. 4
D-79100 Freiburg

Tel:  +49 761 4018 231
Fax: +49 761 4018 333


Author(s): J. Odenthal-Kahabka
Editorial office: FVA, Germany
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Wet Storage – Site Preparation


Pre-position suitable sites for wet storage, on the basis of quantity of storm damaged timber, tree species, legal and organisational criteria. Keep relevant documents for applying for authorisation ready.

Click here to download the Spanish translation of this article (PDF-file)
Nasslager aus der Vogelperspektive
Pic. 1: Photo R. Willmann
Befestigter Weg im Nasslager
Pic. 2: Gravel road, slightly elevated. Photo R. Willmann

Ownership structure

Sites owned by the operator would be perfect. Contracts of lease for storage sites should be valid for at least 4-5 years, analogue to water withdrawal authorisation, license, and maximum storage period. Contracts should also include option to renewal. Inclusion of a stipulated recultivation agreement (execution and coverage of costs) should be considered.

Location and infrastructure

The site should have good transport connexion and access roads with high load-bearing capacity. Avoid sites located next to public roads (black ice formation in winter) or settlements and recreational hotspots (risk of accidents). Sufficient water supply (esp. in summer!) is essential. Power supply has to be ensured where electric pumps are used.

Site establishment

  • Due to the high fixed costs, wet storage sites should be at least one hectare in size and 25 metres wide. Smaller sites might be cost-effective if gravitational force is used for irrigation.
  • Approx. 11,000 – 12,000 cubic metres of roundwood can be stored on one hectare, including the space for roads.
  • Water must run off easily. Drainage and a slightly sloped surface are therefore advantageous.
  • Drainage channels along and underneath the roads prevent maceration.
  • Roads have to be checked on sufficient bearing capacity when installing new or upgrading running sites. This can be cost-intensive. Integration of geo-textile fleeces can possibly increase bearing capacity with low material input.
  • Integrating coarse gravel in the base and upper layer enables water runoff inside the road.
  • If the site is leased from a third party and is supposed to be restored after use, the current state should be well documented (photographic documentation if necessary) to avoid later conflicts.
  • Rotary traffic allows continuous loading and unloading.
  • Spacing of roads has proved to be ideal at 50 metres. This is derived as follows:
    • Road width 4.5 metres
    • Log length two times 19 – 20 metres
    • Clearance between stacks and road 2x1m= 2 metres
    • Clearance between log tops 3.5 metres (for laying irrigation pipes)
    • Road spacing overall: 50 metres
Schema Wegeabstand
Skizze Polterabstand
Pic. 3: Derivation of the Road spacing of 50 metres.
  • The electrical system is installed inside a weatherproof cabinet or small cabin. The advantage of a cabin is that spare parts and equipment can be stored dry and frost proof in winter.
Pic. 4: Photo R. Willmann