The mountain pine is harvested on sunny summer days. Early in the morning, the foresters hop on their tractors and make their way up to the heights of 2,000 metres, where the mountain pine grows in abundance and where, armed with chainsaws and axes, they cut back the entire plant. Only the smallest, softest branches with cones and needles will later be distilled in essential oil.
These smaller branches are chopped up then and there, while the thicker branches are cut and stacked. They will later be brought to the sawmill and processed into woodchip. All the material is then brought to the distillery by tractor.
The mountain pine harvest is monitored by the Forestry Commission; the main purpose of the land clearance is to preserve mountain pastures. These trees reseed naturally, and, over the course of 20 – 25 years, reach a height that requires pruning. Their abundant growth is ensured for many generations to come, as you can see by taking just one glance at the Sarntal Alps with their vast, dark swathes of mountain pine. One third of all mountain pine on the German-speaking Alpine region grows in the Sarntal Alps.
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