Is it allowed to collect moss in the forest?
Since numerous types of moss have been protected, there has been uncertainty among amateur gardeners about this question. The fact is that the removal of moss in small quantities for private use is permitted. An exception applies to designated nature reserves. No plants at all may be collected here. Outside of these protected areas it is forbidden to take any plants that fall under “special species protection”, including, for example, peat moss species (Sphagnum ssp.), White moss (Leucobryum ssp.) And grove moss (Hylocomium ssp.), As these are dying out are threatened. However, since the moss species are often difficult to distinguish for the layperson, removal for private use should only be carried out very carefully - if at all - so as not to disturb the sensitive ecosystem.
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Here you can find moss in the forest
In the forest you will not have a difficult time discovering small and large moss populations. There are ideal framework conditions here, such as shady locations, moist and acidic forest soil. Moss can be found in these places:
- Under and on trees
- On the forest floor when it is in the shade or partial shade
- Often on stones near water
Since mosses only grow a few centimeters high and do not produce flowers, a little attention is still required to discover the rootless spore plants.
Collect properly with respect for nature
Moss has important functions in the ecosystem. The cushions absorb moisture and gradually release it to the forest floor so that it does not dry out. Countless small creatures find shelter and food here, such as spiders, earthworms, snails and woodlice.
Therefore, first examine a moss cushion to see whether it is inhabited. Use your fingers to loosen the plants from the edge and do not use a sharp tool. Please do not remove more than half of a moss plant so that it can regenerate again.
Instead of removing moss cushions and thus possibly impairing the ecosystem, you can instead harvest the ripe spores that float in small, brown capsules on stalks above the moss. Crushed on a smooth surface and transferred with a fine brush to lean substrate or stony ground, a green moss carpet unfolds from it in no time at all.