Trees of the year
The "tree of the year" is selected once a year by the Curatorium "Baum des Jahres e.V.", whose members include many leading nature and environment associations.
The criteria for selecting the "tree of the year" are very different. Among other things, familiar tree species are to become better known, and attention is also drawn to trees which have become rare or are threatened with extinction. The ecological significance of a tree species or its symbolic character can also be decisive reasons for its selection.
The trees of the year for 1997-2008 are listed below.
The Common Walnut is a medium-sized, short-stemmed tree which grows slowly and often askew. The leaves sprout very late and fall early. Decorative green catkins. The brown nuts are 2-3cm large and very tasty.
The Scots Pine is a picturesque large tree found in a variety of forms, 10-30m tall. The bark is smooth and orange-coloured near the crown, becoming fissured in brown and grey nearer the base. The cones are small and grey-brown in colour.
Stately tree with a very high arched crown and thick trunk and can grow to 30m. The leaves are initially reddish, later dark green. The male catkins have reddish stamens. The Black Poplar often grows in river valleys.
Among large trees, the Horse Chestnut displays some of the most magnificent autumn colours, the bright creamy yellow autumn leaves adorning the tree for several weeks. Avenues of chestnut trees are particularly impressive in autumn.
European Silver Fir
The True or Silver fir is the most demanding conifer in our woods and forests. The deep tap roots require deep, good-quality soil, moderately moist subsoil, a mild climate and plenty of shade. The trunk of the Silver Fir can measure up to 2m in diameter.
The Common Alder is a large tree with conical crown and inversely ovate, dark-green leaves. The catkins are reddish-brown. The Common Alder is a first-class pioneer and can grow up to 150 years old.
The Common Juniper is a slow-growing, upright evergreen shrub with a usually columnar shape. The oblong leaves are sharp-pointed. The blue-black berries are widely used in the kitchen.
The Common Ash is one of the most majestic European trees, growing to heights of 40m. The crown is ovoid or round. Forms stands in alluvial soils and gorges, weedy deciduous forests, along rivers and streams, and on stony slopes.
The Silver Birch is a large tree growing to 20m with an initially narrow, later rounded crown and relatively short branches. Produces yellow catkins in spring. Striking white bark.
Impressive medium-sized deciduous tree with highly arched, wide round crown. Pleasantly scented yellow catkins appear with the leaves in spring. The White Willow mainly grows along river banks and in alluvial plains.
Common Pear, Wild Pear
The name Common Pear (Pyrus communis) is now considered to refer collectively to more than 1000 cultivars and their wild derivatives. The medium-sized pear trees have glossy green leaves and sweet-tasting fruits.
Mountain Ash, Rowan
The Mountain Ash is an attractive small tree with one or more stems and crown diameter of 4-6m. White flowers are produced in umbels shortly after the leaves appear. The edible red berries are highly attractive and provide food for many bird species.