The Speulderbos forest reserve is located at the Veluwe, a forested push moraine in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. The forest is a remnant of a much larger complex that for centuries belonged to the primeval farmers corporation Speulderbos. Forest management stopped in 1969 and the forest was declared a strict forest reserve in 1985.
The forest reserve consists mainly of oldgrowth beech (Fagus sylvatica) forest with pockets of Common oak (Quercus robur) and Sessile oak (Quercus petraea). The plot also includes planted stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and three introduced species: Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Dunkeld larch (Larix × marschlinsii) and Northern red oak (Quercus borealis). The total number of native woody species is just ten.
The oaks in the tree forest are currently being outcompeted by beech. Expansion of beech in the past 40 years has made the forest much darker, causing the herb layer of Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) to disappear. In places that used to be open, the herb layer has been replaced by recruits of beech.
Many of the old beech trees are decaying, with frequent break-out of heavy branches and parts of tree crowns. The amount of standing and lying dead wood is steadily growing.