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A guide to the woody plants
of the 'Bosco dei bricconi' (Schelm Wald) near Bolzano/Bozen (N Italy)

Pier Luigi Nimis, Alessandro Andriolo, Paul Zipperle, Klaus Oberlechner, Paolo Giacomoni
Images by Andrea Moro

The 'Rogue Forest' is a trail on the slopes near Bolzano/Bozen in northern Italy. It was built by the forestry station of Bolzano/Bozen in collaboration with the rehabilitation center ‘Kohlern’ of the Social Services Division, using only plants with were found on the spot.
The layman, who for the first time enters in the artificial forest will be quite amazed.
In our areas one thinks that the term 'forest' applies to a mostly pine or spruce forests, but here we dive into a seemingly disordered woodland. Our feet stumble on much more porphyry, which is plentiful, than is usually found on a soft forest floor. We are surrounded by hop hornbeam, oak and isolated chestnuts. We also meet the so-called 'new' black locust, which was introduced a few centuries ago. There is a single conifer: the frugal and sun-loving red pine. Basically, the plants are dwarfed, but they are now allowed to grow as they want and are adapted to a frugal diet, especially in extended dry periods. The older ones sometimes lose one or the other branch, or sometimes lie across the path to rest. Finally, everything seems messy, but nature does have a sense of order. When the seasons are changing, this place finally reveals his splendor and magic, especially in autumn when the foliage gives us a tremendous blaze of colors. In winter, our feet enter on a carpet of rustling leaves of various shapes and colors.
In order to perceive the first signs of spring, we must observe the ground and our search is rewarded at certain points. The blooming primroses and anemones which are springing up unexpectedly from between fern and the stones after the winter, are a rewarding sight.
If we leave this place at the end then, we hear the invitation to leave. 'Come back and visit me, I have to tell you much more'.
This small interactive guide, which was prepared in collaboration with Prof. P.L. Nimis within the project ‘Dryades’ of the University of Trieste, allows you to give a name to the woody plants of the forest. We are confident that it will render the visit even more interesting.

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