The innitiative goes back to a 1989 idea by forestry official Silvius Wodarz. Announcing a tree of the year is now an annual event in Germany. With the spruce being this year’s winner.
A tree that most people may know as their Christmas tree. In terms of cultivation it is one of the few trees that brings a forseeable profit for the owner. And though the spruce was originally a tree of highlands, such as the Alps, it now is dominating many woods across Germany, as Markus Bouwman of the Cologne forest administration says.
“From spruce wood you can produce almost everythings,” Bouwman says. “Paper, a roof truss or a shelve.”
In one of its districts the Cologne forest administration has arranged a boulevard of the tree of the year. This year’s tree was, again, planted with the help of a local school class.
A class that was also revealing a few more facts about the spruce. “You can produce a tea with its fir needles,” young student Umut says. Other facts: The spruce is green though all the year and it does not throw off its cones.