National Heritage Tree in Stuttgart Hohenheim
Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg planted the plane tree in 1779 as a gesture of affection for his wife Franziska. Today, at 244 years old, it is one of the oldest of its kind and makes a special contribution to species protection: it offers birds and endangered insects a valuable habitat. As one of 100 trees in Germany, the plane tree is now recognized as a "national heritage tree". The initiative of the German Dendrological Society aims to protect and care for selected giant trees in order to enable them to age with dignity.
Its trunk measures almost eight meters in circumference before it divides and rises more than 30 meters as a double trunk: the symbol of two lovers, united in the trunk and yet remaining two independent personalities in the branches. Duke Carl Eugen had this symbol of love planted in honor of his wife Franziska in 1779, which is why the hybrid plane tree in the Hohenheim Gardens is also known as the Franziska plane tree or love plane tree. Due to its old age, it is now particularly popular with rare animal species.
Birds and S21 beetles: The ancient tree is a rare habitat...
Old bark scales, in between bare spots with bark and mushrooms that stretch across the tree: the old tree woman's age is to be seen. Caves can be found in the upper branches.
“Fungus and cavities are normal signs of aging in trees. These caves are very valuable,” explains Dr. Helmut Dalitz, scientific director of the Hohenheim Gardens. Because the cavities in old trees are now rare nesting sites and shelters for cavity-nesting birds, dormouse, bats and owls. This is mainly due to the fact that very old trees have become rare in Germany. And Stuttgart's favorite beetle, the hermit beetle, also known as hermit (Omosderma eremita) inhabits the old plane tree: the rotten holes of the old tree are ideal for the larvae of the beetle that eat wood debris.
Life-prolonging measures: Caring for the old tree is expensive
To ensure that signs of aging do not become a problem, the specialists at the Hohenheim Gardens examine the maple-leaved plane tree (Platanus x hispanica) closely twice a year. A tree report records possible problems such as dry branches or cavities in the trunk, and necessary life-prolonging measures follow.
From expert opinions to care and the administration of nutrients in the root area: Enabling trees to age gracefully is time-consuming and expensive. This is another reason why Helmut Dalitz is pleased that the plane tree has become a national heritage tree. Because the award guarantees the Baum-Greisin special protection. “We have a great responsibility for such old trees, they are an important habitat. We must do everything we can to preserve them for posterity,” explains Prof. Dr. Andreas Roloff, Head of the National Heritage Trees Board of Trustees.
The initiative of the German Dendrological Society wants to protect and care for a total of 100 special ancient trees in Germany in order to preserve them for as long as possible. Appropriate care measures are financed by the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation.
Great speeches in the shade of large plane trees: an invitation to a ceremonial honor
"Plane trees were usually planted in particularly strong places," explains Prof. Dr. Andrew Roloff. Because: More than 2,000 years ago, Greek and Roman philosophers liked to give their great speeches in the shade of large plane trees.
On its day of honor, the Hohenheim plane tree is in no way inferior to its Mediterranean ancestors: the Rector of the University of Hohenheim, Prof. Dr. Stephan Dabbert and Dr. Helmut Dalitz and State Secretary Dr. Gisela Splett, the Plieninger District Manager Andrea Lindel and Michael von Winning from the Eva Mayr Stihl Foundation in her honour.
A total of 100 trees are to be found and protected in Germany where there is a possibility that they could reach an age of 100 years or more.
Contact for Media
Dr. Helmut Dalitz, Wissenschaftlicher Leiter der Hohenheimer Gärten
T 0711 459-22181 E email@example.com
Prof. Dr. Andreas Roloff, Leiter des Kuratoriums Nationalerbe-Bäume
T 0351-463-31202 E firstname.lastname@example.org
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