Streuobstbaum bei Sonnenaufgang
· Naturefund

Orchards: One look back and two forward!

Naturefund has already been looking after the orchard meadows around Wiesbaden since 2015. A mighty number of old trees must be saved from decay and thus also from their eventual disappearance.  

So much has happened

Since the beginning of the work, Naturefund has secured around one third of the 40,000 trees around Wiesbaden, preserved them through care, determined their species and organized replantings. Not only the own areas or leased areas are maintained by the outdoor team, but on request and in cooperation also the adjacent areas of other owners. These cooperations even went beyond the labor-intensive harvesting periods and maintenance and aimed at the successful organic certification of separate areas.

Versatile care necessary

Already since 2018, the German Postcode Lottery has supported us with sporadic donations. But also the 824 private sponsors of our last donation project made it possible for us to make the care and preservation of orchard meadows our long-standing core competencies. In 2019, Naturefund engaged in local networking for the preservation of orchard meadows: A "Round Table" was launched and brought owners, farmers, interested parties and representatives of the city of Wiesbaden around the table and into constructive discussions. For this purpose, our orchard expert Martin Unfricht and our entire outdoor team work in the orchards throughout the year, because the maintenance work is as complex as it is versatile.

Steady tasks remain elaborate to this day

To prevent the areas from becoming wooded or overgrown, they have to be mowed or grazed. Thus, without the varied space of the sun-shadow play of this biotope, important ecological niches for plants and animals cannot be preserved. Every year, the Naturefund team goes after the mistletoe with a witch hunter, a lifting platform and a sharp gun and tries to contain the heavy infestation on many trees.

In many places, the old fruit trees have already reached their target age. Scattered fruit trees of these generations usually become only approx. 100 years old. Many of these fruit varieties had to be determined by experts so that very specific new plantings could be made. So we determine old fruit varieties threatened with disappearance and graft them for new plantings. And we continue to do so, because if we do not continue to replant new generations of climate-resilient species now, the orchards will continue to disappear in a few years.

We continue

So we keep going: tending, pruning, mowing, harvesting, identifying species and replanting. So a big task still lies ahead of us. In order to be able to meet this challenge in the future, we still need support from donations. We want to protect even more trees and their species-securing habitat, for which we have launched a new donation project. With your help, we can continue to work actively!

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