Cultivated landscape structures have been retained almost unchanged in the Botanical Park for more than hundred years. One of these valuable elements of Barnim’s cultivated landscape are the long avenues of fruit trees planted at the end of the 19th century as accompanying planting on the embankments along the fields.
As part of Berlin Environmental Relief Programme (Umweltentlastungsprogramm) measures in the Botanical Park, the fruit tree avenues were revitalised and added to protect their historic garden value in 2014-15. These activities focused on maintaining the landscape and diversity of varieties. Optimising the trees’ crop yields was a secondary goal.
There are 120 apple trees, 32 plum trees and 20 cherry trees in the Botanical Park. The apple trees fall into three age groups: 80 year-old old trees, 30 year-old trees in full production and 15 year-old young trees. The Pomologenverein Brandenburg-Berlin e.V. (Brandenburg pomologists’ association) devised a plan for revitalising the trees involving age-appropriate pruning, treatment of stability problems, fungal infestations, hollows and wounds.
Among the development measures carried out were the following:
- Ecologically-friendly removal of dead and old wood
- Maintenance and recovery pruning
- Replanting with older, regional varieties
- Rejuvenation of the old avenues
- Measures to repair damage done by animals browsing and pulling on trees
To protect the trees from pests, dead trees were also removed. Gaps in the avenues were replanted with regional trees of the kinds usually planted in the 1910s. The goal is to maintain diverse varieties and emphasise the park’s botanical character.