9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Forest

Forest Knowledge 

Since some years I roam Berlins, Brandenburgs, Germanys and Europes forests. During the time I saw many phenomenons and asked myself a lot of questions which I googled or read about afterwards. Here is a collection of the most astonishing explications I found.

A One Hundred Year Old Beech Tree …

  • is 20 Meters high
  • has 600.000 leaves
  • it produces 12kg of sugar per day
  • takes in the CO2 Emission of 3 houses
  • evaporates 400l of water
  • and produces oxygen for ten people

Always think of a tree as somebody that makes it possible for you to breathe!


Sächsische Schweiz


The Age Of Trees

Normally they are cut down early for their wood, but trees are able to live much longer. Spruces can live up to 300 years, Beeches 250, Pines 500  and oaks up to incredible 1000 years which makes them one of the oldest living organisms on earth. Go to the article If Old Trees Could Tell Their Stories to read about the moving story of an only 400 years not-so-old oak.



The Soil Is Alive

In a hand full of forest soil are more creatures than human beings on earth. They are the binmen oft he forest and transform dead organic material to humus which becomes new soil to feed new plants who create everything humans need to survive.


The Communication Of Trees

When trees are attacked, for example by a parasite, they produce fragrances to defend themselves. But not only the attacked tree, even the surrounding trees do it. Those fragrances are very different from each other and represent the vocabulary of the trees. Worldwide there are already more than 2000 “words” discovered trees exchange with each other.

Langer See Große Krampe

There is an Antibiotic Atmosphere in The Forest

In a classic needle Forest you’ll find a lot of antibiotic fragrances which makes the air nearly germ free. And even if we as humans don’t notice them, it could be, that we react on the communication of trees.


Shin rin Yoku – Bathing In The Forest

Is a form of therapy against stress and depression in Japan. Our immun system is stimulated by the forest and the effect last up to one week from our last forest walk. Blood pressure normalizes. Forest air has a different electric charge from city air and the oxygen concentration is much higher through photosynthesis. Both is good for human health.

Grumsin Unesco Naturerbe Schorfheide


1000 Liters Of Water

Together with other nutritive substances the tree transports water from the roots to the leaves on the top trough capillary action. When it rains a tree can store up to 1000 liters of water.



Crown Shyness

There is a phenomenon called Crown Shyness which means trees don’t touch each other and only grow their branches to the point that they can move in the wind.

Treptower park


Planting trees means thinking of the survival of mankind

After every war or traumatic event people planted trees. The reforestation represented as a sign of hope, a vision that there will be a future even after the own life has ended. Because a tree won’t grow during your lifetime. I wish todays politicians would be as farsighted as those rangers of the past.

SpitzmühleRauener berge Bad SaarowSächsische SchweizSächsische Schweiz




Foto 16.08.17My cousin and her family in Africa


Berlin Day Hike: The Havel From Above On The Havelhöhenweg

A wonderful hike along Havel river through Grunewald, Germanys biggest city forest.

  • Read something about the very moved history of the beautiful island of Schwanenwerder at the entrance of the island.
  • On the island, during Nazi era, Goebbels, Speer and other leaders “bought” – for more or less symbolic prices – Villas from Jews.
  • In 1933 when the first edition of Monopoly appeared in Germany, the most expensive road wasn’t Schloßstrasse like it is today but Inselstrasse, upon which Goebbels banned the game.
  • Maybe you can have a cappuccino in one of the sailing clubs overviewing the Havel. But at the end it’s Berlin. You never know before trying 🙂
  • Gaze at the other shore of Havel river trough Großes Fenster and have a look at Grunewalds oldest oak tree in the garden of the lifesavers station.
  • If you do it in summer, bring insect repellent.
  • The only downer is that you will always hear some slight traffic noises even when already in dense underbrush. But man, you’re still in the city! What do you want?

Location: Strandbad Wannsee – crossing Inselstraße to Schwanenwerder – along Havel – Großes Fenster – Havelhöhenweg – Havelberg – E-Gestell – back to Strandbad Wannsee / Distance: 10,5 km / from city center: 20 km / South West / Weather: 22 °C, sunny and a little cloudy  / Camera: Nikon D90, 35 mm lens

DSC_0851Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_0976Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_0080DSC_0037DSC_0065DSC_0907DSC_0919DSC_0930DSC_0913DSC_0883Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_0011DSC_0043Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_0996DSC_0978DSC_0997DSC_0963DSC_0960DSC_1002Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_1010DSC_1021Havelhöhen Havelhöhenweg Wannsee Havel BerlinDSC_1014


Sorry, the recording didn’t work between Schwanenwerder and Großes Fenster. You’ll find the old oak tree approximately where the red line begins and crosses the green line.