Hazel spruce

Awareness raising for the use of hazel spruce as tonewood.

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation

Disaggregation level

Project region

Local Action Group (LAG)
LAG REGIO-V Regionalentwicklung Vorarlberg

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period

Project costs overall
30 000,00€

Subsidy from LE 14-20
18 000,00€

EN - 19.2.1. Umsetzung der lokalen Entwicklungsstrategie

Project initiator
Museumsverein Klostertal

Short description

The knowledge of hazel spruce as tonewood is part of the Unesco cultural heritage. For several years now, the Forum Hazel spruce, an association based in the region of Tyrol, has been searching and using the stocks of the hazel spruce. This variety of the common spruce has a special growth habit and can be found in the Klostertal valley in the region of Vorarlberg. Hazel spruce is used for artistic use as a resonance body. In the region, there is still a lack awareness for its use as quality wood, among others for instrument construction. Through means of a symposium with lectures, an artistic framework and an accompanying communication programme, the project aims to pass on the knowledge about the "Klostertal hazel spruce" to forest owners, craftsmen and the interested population. Particular emphasis is to be placed on the involvement of children and young people. The documentation of the project is carried out by means of a brochure within the framework of the Small Publication Series of the museum association Klostertal, a documentary film and a touring exhibition.

Point of departure

For about 20 years now, a group of interested people has been working on the phenomenon of hazel spruce. The wood is consciously selected, collected and processed. Forestry officials, scientists, instrument makers, sculptors, architects, etc. have joined forces to network with all interested parties, collect the old knowledge, document it in writing, process it scientifically and include it into the education of foresters. For about eight years now - supported by the association - Austrian artists have also been working with this wood in particular, creating new types of sound sculptures and instruments, which have already been played by professional musicians in public performances on several occasions. Over time, instrument makers who use the wood for crafting violins and guitars, joined in. The knowledge about the hazel spruce as tonewood has meanwhile been added to the list of intangible Cultural Heritage of Austria. Through Dr. Helene Keller, who is actively involved in the association's activities, some members found their way into the Klostertal valley and to the museum association Klostertal. Now that a stock of very well usable hazel spruce has been identified in the region, the project is intended to promote awareness of the old knowledge around hazel spruce as a tonewood and to encourage forest owners in the Klostertal valley to market it at quality wood auctions.

Targets and target groups

Through means of a technical and artistic symposium with accompanying events/ excursions and a documented touring exhibition, the awareness about the occurrence of the hazel spruce in the Klostertal valley should be raised.

In particular forest owners and users should pay more attention to this valuable wood, which was previously often sold at a much lower value. At the same time, the hazel spruce network should be expended to the Leader region of Vor­der­land-Wal­gau-Blu­denz. Through the cooperation with the "Forest Association Vorarlberg", awareness for the use of high-value wood is strengthened far beyond the Klostertal valley.

Project implementation and measures

The contents of the project are divided into five work packages, where in addition to the project management and accompanying public relations work, the central part consists of the design and presentation of a touring exhibition as well as the organisation and implementation of a hazel spruce symposium in the Klostertal Museum, which will take place in the summer of 2016. In a possible small project in the LEADER region Vorderland-Walgau-Bludenz, it will be possible to present the touring exhibition at two or three locations as well as to carry out a corresponding framework programme of lectures and excursions and to promote the symposium in the Klostertal Museum. The project - and in particular the symposium - will finally be documented by means of a film and a publication in the Small Publication Series of the museum association Klostertal as part of the public relations work.