Rescue of 30 hectares of pine forest in the Pyryatynsky National nature park

We have different areas of social responsibility, including support for education and support for initiatives to help ATO soldiers, but we also wanted to join nature reservation projects because of time requirements and the internal needs of members of our team. Yana Bobrova, the executive director of the charity foundation “Peli can live”, told us about the problem of the drying of the monocultural pine forest in the Pyriatynsky National Nature Park. This excited us, as we understood from our communication with the foundation and scientific advisors of the project that historically, monocultural forests are not inherent in ecosystems in Ukraine. The harm occurred in the 19-20 centuries when mixed forests were cut down and instead of artificial plantations were planted with monocultures only, mostly pine tree crops, as an economically profitable wood for sales and rapid growth. However, the monocultural forests represented by pines are at risk due to climate change, which manifests itself through abnormal warming and the lowering of groundwater levels. Monocultural forests have a low resistance to external factors, slowly adapt to adverse environmental conditions and form a favourable environment for the reproduction and rapid spread of diseases and pests such as heterobasidion annosum and bark beetles.

Thus, the pine tree forests are in danger of extinction due to drying up processes, caused by climate change.


The process of drying of the whole forest can be stopped by dilution with other crops (for example, oak).

Quote by Timur Bondaryev, Managing Partner of Arzinger law firm: “We were approached by Yana Bobrova, executive director of the Charitable Foundation “Peli can live”, with a proposal to support the restoration of several areas of drying monocultural pine forest with a total area of 30 hectares. Thus, to create a one-of-a-kind case for Ukraine of consistent, long-term biodiversity restoration with the participation of socially responsible businesses. Not to plant trees and forget about them, but take responsibility for the forest, support scientific work, and diagnose scientific hypotheses.

I realized that we would not dare to do it ourselves, but it was possible with partners – the CF “Peli can live” and scientists from the Pyryatynsky Park. Also, it was interesting to be involved in a scientifically based project to restore biodiversity. Additionally, it was important for us that we as a team  would have the opportunity to join in planting trees and get a little distracted from the daily office routine, working together in the open air.”

The project was divided into several stages:

  • study of existing world practices and problems with the reduction of common oak, not only in Ukraine but in Europe;

  • search for donor oaks in NPP “Pyryatynskyi”;

  • collection of acorns, their planting in the forest, stratification (i.e., winter conservation), and their planting in a controlled area by the Park to obtain seedlings in autumn.

In addition, to collecting data on the results of each year and on the study of biodiversity in the forest, students of ecology and biology were involved. For this purpose, we financed student educational expeditions in 2020 and 2021, during which time the number of seedlings that took root was calculated.

Autumn collection of acorns, their planting in the forest, and growing annual seedlings are repeated every year.

Careful calculations of seedlings in the forest are also carried out, and conclusions are made about the most effective method of planting acorns (autumn or spring). Scientists and employees of the Park take care of seedlings in the school (in a controlled area of the Park) in order to obtain quality seedlings. 


Oaks grow for a long time, so this project is one of those that is aimed at the future. But already now we can say that we gave a second breath to the forest massif of 30 hectares. 

During the period of our patronage (beginning in autumn 2019 and more active phases in 2020 and 2021), approximately 9,000 acorns were planted in the forest and 5,000 acorns in the nursery forest plots in Pyryatynsky National nature park.

In autumn 2020, we had 330 saplings of ordinary oaks from these acorns in the nursery, that were planted in the forest.

In the summer of 2021, we recorded 1,564 oaks growing in the forest thanks to our efforts and the efforts of friends of the Park, who also joined the volunteer landing. We also realized that by planting acorns in the fall, we incur great losses because they are eaten by animals in the winter, but we are also happy about that – because we allow the animals to survive the winter.

In 2021, as many as 3,030 saplings of ordinary oaks in the nursery (an incredible number, if you imagine the giant handsomes that each of these seedlings could grow into in the future).

Of these 3030 saplings, 2630 saplings were planted in the forest (including 670 by Arzinger volunteers) and 400 more oaks were given to the local community to plant in the shelterbelt.

Other results and impact

Oak is an endemic plant of Ukraine and grows throughout its territory, provides food and shelter for wildlife. Also oak is a long-lived tree, so can keep carbon stored for generations without releasing it in decomposition. Large leaves and wide crowns enable maximum photosynthesis. Since it is a local species, it will be the best support for local wildlife.

Over time, our oaks will be able to absorb up to 25kg of CO2 per year, and a new study has shown that mature oaks can increase the rate of photosynthesis to absorb more carbon dioxide.

Through this project, we reduced the risk of 30 hectares of forest loss in NPP “Pyryatynsky” by creating a mixed forest of monoculture pine forest through the planting of sprouts and acorns of common oak.

Twenty five employees of the company took part in volunteer trips to Pyryatynsky National Park, planted trees and acorns, and learned about the role of national parks in wildlife conservation.

We support scientific research and educate the next generation of scientists because it is the only way to protect our environment. Eighteen students of ecology and biology received internships and helped to collect the necessary data for the project. Thus, during the student research expeditions which we supported financially, more than 100 large donor trees were taken into account, which are foci of biodiversity and make the largest contribution to carbon conservation.

Acorn planting material is sufficient not only for the work of Arzinger volunteers, but also for other volunteer teams.

We ensure the sustainability of the population of a key aboriginal species, around which a rich natural ecosystem is formed, which leads to the preservation of biodiversity in the park.

What’s next?

In the summer of 2022, we plan to control and evaluate the overwintering of seedlings, summarizing the effectiveness of various methods of planting and germination of acorns.

Based on the results of the plantings, it is planned to publish methods of creating a mixed forest dominated by oak from a monoculture pine forest.


We also plan landings in the fall of 2022, traditionally with the participation of the Arzinger team.

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