May 27, 2024
Calvörde and Zobbenitz Embrace Climate Resilient Trees: Planting the “Tree of the Year 2024”

Calvörde and Zobbenitz Embrace Climate Resilient Trees: Planting the “Tree of the Year 2024”

In a significant environmental initiative, Calvörde and Zobbenitz have recently added new specimens of the 2024 “Tree of the Year,” the Serviceberry, to their landscapes. The choice of this indigenous tree species, praised for its ecological benefits, marks a strategic step toward enhancing local biodiversity and forest conservation efforts.

Christian Gromotka, the forest district manager of Klüden, elaborates on why this diminutive tree plays a monumental role in forest ecology. “The Serviceberry is a boon for natural forest conservation. Its blossoms attract bees and other insects, while its red berries later provide essential food for blackbirds, tits, and other birds,” explains Hubertus Nitzschke, Mayor of Calvörde (UWG). He, alongside Gromotka and municipal worker Renè Jäger, took part in planting two of these trees.

Recognized by the Dr. Silvius Wodarz Foundation as the “Tree of the Year,” the Serviceberry is not only a popular ornamental tree in parks and streets but is also crucial for its presence primarily on the fringes of forests, thriving in sunlit areas. With a deep root system, the Serviceberry is well-adapted to withstand dry periods and is expected to play a more significant role in urban greening and as a boulevard tree in major cities.

“The tree has a special ecological significance. It copes well with increased sunlight, a result of climate change,” Gromotka notes. Its preference for dry, sun-warmed soils makes the Serviceberry an ideal candidate for robust natural landscapes in the future. One of the newly planted trees now grows on the traffic island along State Road 25 near the Weiße Ohre bridge in Calvörde, with another on the grounds of the cemetery in Zobbenitz.

Nitzschke, a former master miller, is particularly enthusiastic about the Serviceberry. During hard times in Switzerland, the berries were historically used to extend flour. This historical connection underscores a cultural affinity with the tree.

The tree planting is funded by the Calvörde community, with each tree, about three meters tall and sporting a root ball of around 40 centimeters in diameter, costing 250 euros. It’s crucial that the trees are genuine Serviceberries, which are particularly valued for their vibrant flowering in May. Right after planting, the blooms have already begun attracting insects.

Looking ahead to the fall, plans are in place to plant oaks in the park near Dorster Castle, in collaboration with the local forestry department. “We aim to preserve the beauty of Dorst Park. However, the oak trees are suffering from complex diseases, including new threats from the oak splendour beetle, leading to the decline of many old oaks,” Gromotka explains. Furthermore, a reforestation effort is set to commence in Zobbenitz, highlighting ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and the adaptive management of local green spaces.